Thursday, June 12, 2014

The American Presidents: James Buchanan

The following is from a work-in-progress called "The American Presidents: a Coloring Book."

James Buchanan (1791 – 1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857–1861), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He is the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor.  There are many indicators that suggest he was homosexual, especially his close and intimate relationship with William Rufus King (who became Vice President under Franklin Pierce). The two men lived together in a Washington boardinghouse for 10 years from 1834 until King's departure for France in 1844.  Andrew Jackson called them "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy" (the former being a 19th-century euphemism for an effeminate man). When King moved to France in 1844, Buchanan wrote to Cornelia Roosevelt, "I am now 'solitary and alone,' having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them."   As president, Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the Civil War. The short-lived "Utah War" between the U.S. Army and Mormons also took place during the Buchanan administration.

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