James Buchanan

James Buchanan (HM178B)

Location: Washington, DC 20009
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 55.16', W 77° 2.176'

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Inscription

Diplomat, Statesman, and Fifteenth President of the United States

— Meridian Hill Park, National Historic Landmark —

Buchanan was our only bachelor president and relied upon his orphaned niece, Harriet Lane, to act as his First Lady during his years in the White House (1857 to 1861). In her estate, Harriet Lane Johnson made a bequest to fund a memorial to her uncle. Designed by architect William Gordon Beecher and sculpted by Maryland artist Hans Schuler, the memorial was dedicated on June 26, 1930. It features a bronze statue of Buchanan with stone figures of Law and Diplomacy at each end, representing Buchanan's career in public service.

Before becoming president, Buchanan served in the House of Representatives for nearly 18 years. He was Minister to Russia from 1832 to 1834, then a Senator until 1845. He declined an appointment to the Supreme Court by President Polk in 1844, serving instead as Polk's Secretary of State. In that post, helped negotiate the 1846 Oregon Treaty, which established the 49th parallel as the northern boundary of the western United States.

Hostilities in Congress over slavery, abolition, and secession made Buchanan's presidency difficult. His was plagued by financial panic and then a revolt of Mormons in 1857, which the press called the Utah War. On Buchanan's final day as president, March 4, 1861, he remarked to the incoming Lincoln, "If you are as happy entering the White House as I shall feel returning to Wheatland you are a happy man."
Details
HM NumberHM178B
Series This marker is part of the National Historic Landmarks series
Tags
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323468 N 4309796
Decimal Degrees38.91933333, -77.03626667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.16', W 77° 2.176'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 9.60" N, 77° 2' 10.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2201-2257 16th St NW, Washington DC 20009, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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