JAMES BUCHANAN
15th U.S. President 1857-1861
LIFETIME: 1791-1868, of Scotch-Irish ancestry
Buchanan home

BIRTHPLACE: "Stoney Batter" northwest of Mercersburg PA - a tiny log cabin
PHOTO CREDIT: Homes and Libraries of the Presidents by William G. Clotworthy

PRIMARY HOME: "Wheatland" in Lancaster PA - a three-story red brick Federal style mansion originally set on 22 acres
PHOTO CREDIT: Homes and Libraries of the Presidents by William G. Clotworthy

 


Born in a tiny log cabin, James Buchanan helped his father run a country store while growing up, but later attended college and began his career as a county prosecutor. He served many years as a legislator, was appointed Minister to Russia and Great Britain , and served as Secretary of State under President Polk.

A lifelong bachelor, Buchanan shared his grand country estate named "Wheatland" with his nephew and niece in both pre- and post-presidential years. Symbolic of the extravagant social customs of the early 19th century, the manor offered gracious living that included liveried servants, leisurely dinners for 25 guests, musical entertainment, and lively conversation.

The interior design reflects early Victorian style, with Federal and American Empire furnishings, fine marble fireplaces, and graceful stairways. From a long veranda at the rear of the house, Buchanan enjoyed an expansive view of rolling wheat fields.

 

return to Humble Beginnings index page Return to Humble Beginnings index page
return to Hoover Museum exhibit page Return to Hoover Library-Museum virtual exhibits page
return to Hoover Museum main page Return to Hoover Library-Museum main index page
return to Cottages and Castles index page Return to Cottages and Castles index page