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James Buchanan (1857-1861)

Portrait, James Buchanan 

James Buchanan

15th President of the United States
(March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1861)

Nickname: "Old Buck"

Born: April 23, 1791, in Cove Gap (near Mercersburg), Pennsylvania
Died: June 1, 1868, at Wheatland (near Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Father: James Buchanan

Mother: Elizabeth Speer Buchanan
Married: Never married. The White House hostess was his niece Harriet Lane (1830-1903)
Children: None

Religion: Presbyterian
Education: Graduated from Dickinson College (1809)
Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Democrat
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1815-16
  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1821-31
  • Minister to Russia, 1832-34
  • United States Senator, 1834-45
  • Secretary of State, 1845-49 (under Polk)
  • Minister to England, 1853-56

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Vice President: John C. Breckinridge (1857-61)


Secretary of State
Lewis Cass (1857-60)
Jeremiah S. Black (1860-61)
Secretary of the Treasury
Howell Cobb (1857-60)
Philip F. Thomas (1860-61)
John A. Dix (1861)
Secretary of War
John B. Floyd (1857-60)
Joseph Holt (1861)
Attorney General
Jeremiah S. Black (1857-60)
Edwin M. Stanton (1860-61)
Postmaster General
Aaron V. Brown (1857-59)
Joseph Holt (1859-61)
Horatio King (1861)
Secretary of the Navy
Isaac Toucey (1857-61)
Secretary of the Interior
Jacob Thompson (1857-61)