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James Buchanan: Famous Last Words

Posted in Famous Last Words on Friday, 29 April 2011

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James Buchanan was the 15th President of the United States. Born in Cove Gap, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, he had graduated from college with honours, although at one point had been expelled for poor behaviour.

picture, James Buchanan, President, United States of America

James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States of America

He began his political career in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1814 and later served in four successive congresses between 1821 and 1831. He then became Minister to Russia in 1832-34 before being elected to the United States Senate originally as a Democrat (his time in Congress having been as a Federalist).

It was during Buchanan’s presidency that the southern states began to secede from the United States over the issue of slavery. He lost the following election to Abraham Lincoln, whose appointment in 1861 as president was the final spark that began the American Civil War.

Buchanan only lived a few years longer, believing that history would vindicate his memory, although he is nowadays generally thought to have been the worst US President. He died on 1 June 1868, aged 77, at his home at Wheatland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his last words reputedly:

“O Lord Almighty, as Thou wilt.”

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