Facts about James Buchanan
James Buchanan Biography
James Buchanan was the last American president born in the 18th century, and his term (1857-61) was the last before the Civil War.
Buchanan came to the presidency after a distinguished public career: 10 years as a U.S. representative and another 10 as a senator, ambassadorships to both Russia and Great Britain, and service as President James K. Polk‘s secretary of state.
But as president Buchanan couldn’t handle the bad blood between North and South; his attempts to find a legalistic solution were never effective.
By the election of 1860 Buchanan was tired of the presidency and did not seek re-election.
Rightly or wrongly, “Old Buck” has been tagged as one of history’s least effective presidents. He was succeeded by Republican Abraham Lincoln.
Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and the only president never to marry… His vice-president, John Cabell Breckinridge of Kentucky, was the youngest ever: just over 36 years old when he was inaugurated.