Interior: Doughface - As president he was a "doughface," a Northerner with Southern sympathies.
James Buchanan Curriculum Vitae
Presidential Number: 15th
Years President: 1857-1861
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Main Contender: John Fremont
State Represented: Pennsylvania
Birthday: April 23, 1791
Place of Birth: Cove Gap, Pennyslvania
Higher Education: Dickinson College
Prior Occupations: lawyer, congressman, minister to Russia, senator, secretary of state, ambassador to Great Britain
Nickname: Old Buck, Old Public Functionary, Ten-Cent Jimmy, Bachelor President, the Do-Nothing President
Height: 6’ 0”
Favorite Food: corn bread with red-eye gravy and cabbage
Hobbies: raising pygmy goats in the White House Rose Garden
Pets: Lara, a Newfoundland; a pair of bald eagles; Punch, a toy Terrier
Legacy: As President he was a “doughface,” a Northerner with Southern sympathies. A popular and experienced politician when he took office, Buchanan’s efforts to maintain peace alienated both North and South. As the Southern states declared secession, Buchanan said secession was illegal but that going to war to stop it was also illegal; hence he remained inactive. By the time he left office, popular opinion had turned against him and the Democratic Party had split in two. His handling of the crisis preceding the Civil War has led to his ranking as one of the worst presidents.
Trivia: Only president from Pennsylvania; only president who remained a lifelong bachelor; believed that slavery should be legal but bought slaves in order to free them; lost his middle finger on his right hand during the War of 1812.