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James Buchanan: A Resource Guide

James Buchanan
James Buchanan / engraved by permission, from the original in the possession of J. C. Buttre.
1 print: engraving.
[ca. 1860]
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

Related Resources

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles that reference James Buchanan from this time period.

A selection of articles related to James Buchanan includes:


American Treasures of the Library of Congress

This exhibition provides unique insight into various aspects of American history and culture. Objects displayed are organized according to the three categories that Thomas Jefferson used for his library: memory, reason, and imagination. The exhibition contains the first-known photograph of a presidential inauguration, which was taken by Montgomery C. Meigs at James Buchanan's 1857 inauguration.

"I Do Solemnly Swear..." Inaugural Materials from the Collections of the Library of Congress

Items from eighteen presidents are featured in this online exhibition, including documents and images related to James Buchanan's inauguration in 1857.

Prints & Photographs Division

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the subject heading Buchanan, James,--1791-1868 to find digital images related to Buchanan such as prints, photographs, and political cartoons. Search all text fields in PPOC using the phrase James Buchanan to locate additional images.

A selection of highlights from PPOC includes:


The Library's daguerreotype collection consists of more than 725 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864, including four images of James Buchanan.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and landscape design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types, engineering technologies, and landscapes. Included is documentation of Wheatland, Buchanan's home from 1849 until his death in 1869.

Presidents of the United States Selected Images From the Collections of the Library of Congress

This guide presents portraits of U.S. presidents and first ladies, including images of James Buchanan.

Today in History

January 29

Kansas entered the Union as a free state on January 29, 1861. Both North and South sent settlers to the territory, giving rise to the sobriquet "Bleeding Kansas" as violence erupted out of ideological differences regarding slavery.

April 23

U.S. congressman, senator, and presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas was born in Brandon, Vermont, on April 23, 1813. Douglas favored the use of popular elections over Congressional legislation to determine whether Kansas would be admitted as a slave or free state. This stance caused a breach between Douglas and President James Buchanan, although both were members of the Democratic Party. Their views differed so strongly that for a time Buchanan worked to block Douglas' reelection.

May 11

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state admitted into the Union. Minnesota's application for statehood was submitted to President James Buchanan in January, but became entangled with the controversial issue of Kansas statehood, delaying it for several months until it was finally approved by Congress.

July 29

On July 29, 1858, the United States and Japan signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (the Harris Treaty). Townsend Harris the first U.S. diplomatic representative to Japan, negotiated the arrangement, which became effective July 4, 1859.

August 24

The major financial catalyst for the panic of 1857 was the August 24, 1857, failure of the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company. It was soon reported that the entire capital of the Trust's home office had been embezzled. What followed was one of the most severe economic crises in U.S. history.

October 16

Late on the night of October 16, 1859, John Brown and twenty-one armed followers stole into the town of Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) as most of its residents slept. The men--among them three free blacks, one freed slave, and one fugitive slave--hoped to spark a rebellion of freed slaves and to lead an "army of emancipation" to overturn the institution of slavery by force.

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  November 22, 2017
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