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Picture of James Buchanan
[Library of Congress]


15th President (1857-1861)

Biographical Data
Religious Views
Unverified Quotations
References, Links, & Further Reading

Education: Dickinson College

Occupation: lawyer

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason

Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian

Summary of Religious Views:

Buchanan had desired to join the Presbyterian church during the Civil War, but they at that time refused him. He was finally admitted to membership in the church on 23 September 1865. In his will, Buchanan made a generous bequest to the Presbyterian church.

Views on Religion & Politics:


"I hope I am a Christian. I think I have much of the experience which you describe, and as soon as I retire, I will unite with the Presbyterian Church." -- said to Rev. William M. Paxton, August 1860

"I must delay for the honor of religion. If I were to unite with the church now, they would say 'hypocrite' from Maine to Georgia." -- said to Rev. William M. Paxton, August 1860, explaining why he would delay joining until his retirement

Unverified Quotations:

"I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion." -- I have not been able to determine the validity of this quote. If anyone can provide a citation from original sources, or can demonstrate the falsity of the quote, please email me at peterroberts.geo@yahoo.com.

References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links


Works by James Buchanan

ed. by John Bassett Moore, The Works of James Buchanan, 12 vols., Lippincott Company, 1908-1911; reprint, Antiquarian Press, 1960; Vol. I Vol. II Vol. III Vol. IV Vol. V Vol. VI Vol. VII Vol. VIII Vol. IX Vol. X Vol. XI Vol. XII
Mr. Buchanan's Administration on the Eve of the Rebellion, D. Appleton, 1866; reprint, Mr. Buchanan's Administration On The Eve Of The Rebellion (1866)


Philip G. Auchampaugh, James Buchanan and his cabinet on the eve of secession, Lancaster Press, 1926
Jean H. Baker, James Buchanan (The American Presidents), Henry Holt, 2004
Frederick Moore Binder, James Buchanan and the American Empire, Susquehanna Univ. Press, 1994
ed. Michael J. Birkner, James Buchanan and the Political Crisis of the 1850s, Susquehanna Univ. Press, 1996
Garry Boulard, The Worst President-The Story of James Buchanan, iUniverse, 2015
George T. Curtis, The Life of James Buchanan, 2 vols., Harper & Bros., 1883; Vol. I Vol.II
Philip S. Klein, President James Buchanan: A Biography, Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 1962
I. D. McFarlane, Buchanan, Biblio Dist., 1981
Irvin J. Sloan, James Buchanan, Oceana, 1968
Elbert B. Smith, The Presidency of James Buchanan (American Presidency Series), Univ. Press of Kansas, 1978


Frederick Moore Binder, "James Buchanan: Jacksonian Expansionist," Historian, Vol. 55, No. 1, 1992, pp. 69-84
Philip Shriver Klein, "James Buchanan: Selfish Politician or Christian Statesman?," Journal of Presbyterian History, 42, March 1964, pp. 1-18.
David. Meerse, "Buchanan, the Patronage, and the Lecompton Constitution: a Case Study," Civil War History, Vol. 41, No. 4, 1995, pp. 291-312


Works by James Buchanan

James Buchanan: Historic Speeches (Presidential Rhetoric)
James Buchanan: Selected Works (Humanities Web)
Document Library (TeachingAmericanHistory.org)
Inaugural Address (AMDOCS)
Correspondence, Unpublished, 1819-1866 (Their Own Words)

Biographical Sites

James Buchanan [alternate site] (POTUS)
James Buchanan (White House)
BUCHANAN, James, 1791-1868 (Biographical Directory of the US Congress)
James Buchanan (USA Presidents)
James Buchanan (American President)
Life Portrait of James Buchanan (C-SPAN)
James Buchanan Resource Center (Dickinson College)
James Buchanan (Their Own Words)
James Buchanan
James Buchanan (Medical History of the Presidents of the United States)

Religious Views

James Buchanan from The Religious Beliefs Of Our Presidents, by Franklin Steiner (Internet Infidels)

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