Mercersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
15th President of the United States 1857 - 1861
James Buchanan, a Representative and a Senator from Pennsylvania and the 15th President of the United States; born at Cove Gap, near Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pa., April 23, 1791; moved to Mercersburg, Pa. with his parents in 1796; was privately tutored and then attended the Old Stone Academy; was graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1809; moved to Lancaster, Pa., the same year; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1812 and served in the defense of Baltimore; member, State House of Representatives 1814-1815; elected to the Seventeenth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1821-March 3, 1831); Minister to Russia 1832-1834; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Wilkens; reelected in 1837 and 1843 and served from December 6, 1834, until he resigned on March 5, 1845, to accept a Cabinet portfolio; chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations (Twenty-fourth through Twenty-sixth Congresses); Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President James Polk 1845-1849; Minister to Great Britain 1853-1856; elected as a Democrat President of the United States in 1856 and served from March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1861; retired to his home, Wheatland, near Lancaster, Pa., where he died June 1, 1868; interment in Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Pa.
By Beverly Pfingsten, May 18, 2008
1. James Buchanan Statue
of Mercersburg gratefully acknowledges George L. Nalley and Lannie E. Gordon whose dedication and effort made this stature a reality for the community. June 17, 2000
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
2. James Buchanan Marker
Location. 39° 49.669′ N, 77° 54.233′ W. Marker is in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, in Franklin County. Marker is on S. Main Street near Seminary Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mercersburg PA 17236, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Darby, Lot 14, 1786 (within shouting distance of this marker); Col. Murphy's Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Archibald Irwin House (within shouting distance of this marker); Ambush at Mercersburg (within shouting distance of this marker); Citizens Seized (within shouting distance of this marker); Buchanan House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lane House (about 300 feet away); President Buchanan’s Home (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mercersburg.
Also see . . . James Buchanan at FindAGrave.com. (Submitted on July 19, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Government • Notable Persons • Politics •
By Beverly Pfingsten, May 18, 2008
3. James Buchanan Statue
By Allen C. Browne, February 16, 2015
4. 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 May 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,359 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on May 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 3. submitted on May 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 4. submitted on July 18, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.