Interesting Facts About James Buchanan

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  • James Buchanan

James Buchanan, the 15th president of United States of America was born on April 23, 1791 near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He is the son of James Buchanan and Elizabeth Speer, both are Scotch-Irish descent. His father immigrated to America and became a successful storekeeper; this allowed James to have a good education.

  • Education Attainment

He studied at Dickinson College and was expelled due to his bad behavior. After swearing a good behavior to his minister, Dr. John King, he was given a second chance and was admitted back to Dickinson. After graduation, Buchanan studied Law in Lancaster and passed the Pennsylvania Bar in 1812.

  • The First Lady

Because of his unmarried status, President Buchanan appointed his 27-year old niece to fulfill the role to become his 1st lady. When her mother, President’s sister, died when she was still 12 years old, Buchanan took care of her as and became her guardian. She became popular and was known as “Democratic Queen”.

  • Worst President

James Buchanan is considered by historians one of the least effective Presidents in the history of United States. He was not successful on handling the issue of slavery in his country that led to the American Civil War.

  • Different Eye Colors

President Buchanan has a genetic defect called Heterochromia, it affects the color of the Iris. The President is said to have two different eye colors but nobody has enough evidence to prove the exact colors of his eyes. His right eye was darker than the other when exposed to sunlight.

  • War of 1812

Despite of having a career as a lawyer, James Buchanan offer himself to fight for his country in the War of 1812. He was also involved in the March on Baltimore.


  • John Brown’s Raid

Approximately 21 men, including John Brown, raided Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, the West Virginia today. Their mission was to secure the arsenal and armory from the Ferry and to recruit more slaves to increase their force. President James Buchanan sent federal troops which were led by Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J. E. B. to control the slaves and to capture those who were responsible for the raid. As a result, almost half of the raiders were eliminated, some escaped, but their leader was captured and was sentenced to death.

  • Successor

After the President Buchanan’s term he left a message for his successor, Abraham Lincoln. The message was “”My dear sir, if you are as happy on entering the White House as I on leaving, you are a happy man indeed.” This message shows how happy and relief President Buchanan on leaving the Whitehouse.

  • President’s Last Words

These were the former President James Buchanan last words “Whatever the result may be, I shall carry to my grave the consciousness that at least I meant well for my country. Oh Lord God Almighty, as thou wilt.”

  • Bachelor President

James Buchanan was engaged to Ann C. Coleman, the daughter of a rich Pennsylvania family. His father convinced Ann that Buchanan only loved her because of his money. After hearing this, Ann Coleman committed suicide when she visited her sister’s place. Her family blamed him for her death. Buchanan never gets married and the only bachelor president of United States.

  • Buchanan’s Death

Before his death, former President James Buchanan published a memoir that defends his judgment over the issue of slavery during his term as president. The issue that provoked the civil war was blamed to him. He died on June 1, 1868 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the age of 78.

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