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Cove Gap in Franklin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

President James Buchanan

 
 
President James Buchanan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
1. President James Buchanan Marker
Inscription.
The incorruptible statesman whose walk was upon the mountain ranges of the law.”
† † † † † Life long friend Jermiah S. Black
U.S. Attorney General 1857-1860, U.S. Secretary of State 1860-1861


This park commemorates the birthplace of James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States. James was born on April 23, 1791 into a Scotch-Irish family that ran a trading post, Stony Batter, here on the frontier. As young James grew into a man, he made it his lifeís ambition to learn the law and inner workings of American government. He became Pennsylvaniaís only president in 1857.

Buchanan was no stranger to politics when he ran for president. Many believe he was better prepared for the presidency than any of his predecessors, except John Quincy Adams. He began his political career at the young age of 23. Over the next 42 years, he conducted political campaigns and garnered prominence and stature. He never lost an election in which he ran and governed under a simple principle,
“I acknowledge no master but the law.”

When President Buchanan took office, the United States was rapidly splitting over the issue of slavery. He kept the Union together through compromise, but the abolitionists in the north and secessionists in the south did not want compromise.

In
President James Buchanan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
2. President James Buchanan Marker
a special message to Congress in January 1861, Buchanan explained his policy, but northern newspapers called his policy weak, and pro-southern papers called it wavering and even treasonable. President Lincolnís policy in his inaugural address three months later was hailed by the same northern papers as forceful, brave, patriotic, manly, and full of decision and firmness. Only a few papers noted that Buchanan and Lincoln occupied exactly the same ground on policy!

James Buchananís 47-year political career:
* 1814 – 1817: Two terms as PA assemblyman
* 1821 – 1831: Five terms as U.S. representative
* 1832 – 1833: Foreign minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson
* 1834 – 1845: Two and a half terms as a U.S. senator
* 1845 – 1849: Secretary of state under President James Polk
* 1853 – 1856: Foreign minister to Great Britain under President Franklin Pierce
* 1857 – 1861: 15th President of the United States of America
 
Location. 39° 52.263′ N, 77° 57.207′ W. Marker is in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, in Franklin County. Marker is on Stony Batter Road / State Forest Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in Buchananís Birthplace State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Mercersburg PA 17236, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
President James Buchanan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
3. President James Buchanan Marker
At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stony Batter † † † Birthplace of a President (a few steps from this marker); James Buchanan † † † The Early Years (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of James Buchanan (within shouting distance of this marker); A Quest for Honor (within shouting distance of this marker); Stony Batter (approx. half a mile away); James Buchanan (approx. 0.6 miles away); Black Boys Rebellion (approx. 3.4 miles away); Big Spring Graveyard (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cove Gap.
 
More about this marker. A picture of James Buchanan appears at the center of the marker. At the top is a photo of Buchananís home in Lancaster with the caption “President Buchanan retired from public life in 1861, returning to his estate, Wheatland, in Lancaster, Pa. to write his memoirs.” At the bottom right of the marker is a photo of Buchananís grave. The caption is “James Buchanan died on June 1, 1868 and is buried in the Woodward Hill Cemetery in Lancaster.”
 
Also see . . .  Biography of James Buchanan. White House website. (Submitted on August 22, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Buchanan Birthplace Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
4. Buchanan Birthplace Marker
This 31 foot tall pyramid, located near the marker, indicates the site where James Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791.
Buchananís Birthplace State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
5. Buchananís Birthplace State Park
The President James Buchanan marker is located in Buchananís Birthplace State Park.
Wheatland image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 12, 2012
6. Wheatland
James Buchanan spent the years after his presidency in this house in Lancaster, Pa.
Grave of President James Buchanan image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 12, 2012
7. Grave of President James Buchanan
President James Buchanan image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 16, 2015
8. President James Buchanan
This 1859 portrait of James Buchanan hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

“James Buchanan entered the White House in 1857 hoping to quell the mounting sectional rancor over slavery. But the events of his administration often had the opposite effect. The Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision, which denied Congress's power to ban slavery in the western territories, unleashed an unprecedented wave of anger in the North. When Buchanan supported proslavery forces in the Kansas Territory, that anger rose to a fever pitch. In response, the south's militance in defending slavery waxed ever stronger, and by the end of Buchanan's term, the long-feared specter of war was turning into a reality.

With the outbreak of hostilities in the spring of 1861, Buchanan became the object of vilification in many quarters. Among the milder expressions of antiBuchanan feeling was the disposition of the version of this portrait that had been painted for the White House. When artist George Healy presented his bill for the picture, Congress refused to pay it, and many years passed before the White House acquired a portrait of Buchanan.” — National Portrait Gallery
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 22, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 400 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 22, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   8. submitted on July 18, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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