U.S. Presidents / James Buchanan

James Buchanan

1791 - 1868

James Buchanan

Next in importance to the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union is the duty of preserving the Government free from the taint or even the suspicion of corruption. Public virtue is the vital spirit of republics, and history proves that when this has decayed and the love of money has usurped its place…the substance has departed forever.  Inaugural Address


In the 1850s, the question of slavery divided the United States. Hopes ran high that the new President, "Old Buck," might be the man to avert national crisis. He failed entirely. During his administration, the Union broke apart, and when he left office, civil war threatened.

Fast Facts

Cove Gap (near Mercersburg), Pennsylvania
Dickinson College (graduated 1809)
“Old Buck”
Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
William Cooper

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “James Buchanan.” Accessed June 17, 2024. https://millercenter.org/president/buchanan.

Professor of History

William Cooper

Professor Cooper is the Boyd Professor of History, Emeritus at Louisiana State University.