James Buchanan Jr.

James Buchanan Jr. (1791 - 1868)

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President James Buchanan Jr.
Born in Cove Gap, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Sep 2012
This page has been accessed 19,171 times.

Categories: US Presidents | Franklin County, Pennsylvania | US Ambassadors to the United Kingdom | US Secretaries of State | US Ambassadors to Russia | US Senators from Pennsylvania | US Representatives from Pennsylvania | Democratic Political Party | Federalist Political Party | Mercersburg, Pennsylvania | Lancaster, Pennsylvania | This Day In History April 23 | This Day In History June 01 | Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania | Namesakes US Counties | Freemasonry | Notables | Clan Buchanan.

The Presidential Seal.
James Buchanan Jr. was the President of the United States.
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Preceded by
14th President
Franklin Pierce

Preceded by
16th Secretary
John C. Calhoun

Preceded by
William Wilkins
James Buchanan
15th President
of the United States
Presidential Seal

17th United States
Secretary of State
State Dept

US Senator (Class 3)
from Pennsylvania
Seal of of the US Senate
Succeeded by
16th President
Abraham Lincoln

Succeeded by
18th Secretary

John M. Clayton

Succeeded by
Simon Cameron
James Buchanan Jr. is Notable.



James Buchanan, Jr.,[1] is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only one who never got married[2], and the last to be born in the Category: 18th Century.

Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston acted as First Lady of the United States during the presidency of her uncle, lifelong bachelor James Buchanan, from 1857 to 1861.

Early Life

Born on 23 April 1791 in Cove Gap[3], he was the son of businessman and farmer James Buchanan, Sr. (1761–1821) and Elizabeth Speer.
Clan Buchanan tartan.
James Buchanan Jr. is a member of Clan Buchanan.
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Discuss: scottish_clans

The Buchanans were Scotch-Irish.[4] In 1783, James, Sr. emigrated from Donegal, Ireland.[5] He and his wife had 5 sons, and six daughters.[6].

In 1797, the family moved nearby to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where their home was later converted into the James Buchanan Hotel.[7]


Buchanan attended the village academy (Old Stone Academy) and later Dickinson College. Although expelled for behavior, he eventually graduated with honors on September 19, 1809. Later that year he moved to Lancaster, and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1812.


A Federalist, James initially opposed the War of 1812, but when the British invaded Maryland, he joined a volunteer light dragoon unit to defend Baltimore.


Called "doughface," Buchanan was "a Northerner with Southern sympathies," which caused problems when it came to slavery. He could not maintain peace between the North and South, so the South succeeded, heralding a looming civil war.[8]

  • Democrat
  • Minister to the UK (Aug 23, 1853 – Mar 15, 1856)
  • 17th Secretary of State (Mar 10, 1845 – Mar 7, 1849)
  • Senator: PA (Dec 6, 1834 – Mar 5, 1845}
  • Minister to Russia (Jan 4, 1832 – Aug 5, 1833)
  • Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary (Mar 4, 1829 – Mar 4, 1831)
  • House of Reps: PA 4th district (Mar 4, 1823 – Mar 4, 1831)
  • House of Reps: PA 3rd district (Mar 4, 1821 – Mar 4, 1823)


  • Religion: Presbyterian

Fraternal Affiliation

  • Freemason:[9] Initiated: 11 Dec1816, Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, PA; Master of Masonic Lodge No. 43. Lancaster, PA; District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.[10]


bur. Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, PA

Most Distant Known Ancestors

Paternal Thomas Buchanan
Link to 10 Generation Paternal Chart
Maternal Mary Patterson
Link to 10 Generation Maternal Chart


Three states have named counties in honor of President Buchanan: Iowa, Missouri and Virginia.


  1. Wikipedia: James Buchanan; White House; Memorial #143, Find a Grave
  2. numerous historians claim James Buchanan was gay. See: Loewen, J; Salon.com; 2012, May 14. Our real first gay president and Robert Watson, Affairs of State: The untold story of presidential love sex and scandal, 1789-1900, Plymouth, 2012. Page 247. Cf. McSweeney’s: “SO, UH… JAMES BUCHANAN? (PART II)” by Chris White.
  3. Franklin County, Pennsylvania Buchanan's Birthplace State Park; [1])
  4. create category for Scotch- Irish?
  5. second of eleven children, 3 died in infancy.
  6. [citation needed]; need to find siblings
  7. (in 2012 a pub and restaurant)[2]
  8. Wikipedia
  9. other Pres. Freemasons
  10. Wikipedia

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with James by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with James:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 5
James Buchanan 15th President
James Buchanan 15th President

Political Cartoon
Political Cartoon

Presidential Seal
Presidential Seal

James Buchanan
James Buchanan

James Buchanan and his Cabinet
James Buchanan and his Cabinet


On 24 Feb 2017 at 15:39 GMT Linda (Sherman) Stienstra wrote:

How do I join this project? I live 3 blocks from his home and used to work at LancasterHistory.org on the same Campus with his home.

Thank you.

On 17 Feb 2017 at 09:09 GMT Jaynie (Flippen) Anderson wrote:

I would like to join this project. How do I do this?

James is 16 degrees from Walter Morrison, 27 degrees from Alison Wilkins and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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