Profession: 15th US President
Political Party: Democratic
Political Titles: United States Secretary of State, Senator from Pennsylvania
Why Famous: Serving as President immediately prior to the Civil War, Buchanan previously held the offices of Minister to the UK and Secretary of State.
Buchanan's single term as President was preoccupied with the growing crisis over slavery in the South. He was often categorized as a "doughface", or a Northerner who held a sympathetic view of the South, and tried to help the South gain Kansas as a slave state. This action alienated him from large sections of his political support base.
Buchanan did not run for a second term and was succeeded by Abraham Lincoln in 1861, whom he did not support for President. A month after he left office, the Civil War broke out. Buchanan is often regarded as one of the worst Presidents in American history for his failure to bring together or calm the sectional divisions leading up to the conflict.
- 1856-11-04 James Buchanan elected 15th US president
- 1858-08-16 Britain's Queen Victoria telegraphs US President James Buchanan