Buchanan, James

Free franked address leaf all in his hand - sending a letter for someone else!

Price: $475.00

Description:
(1791-1868) 15th US President (1857-61), only president from Pennsylvania, the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor, the last president born in the 18th century. Beginning in the 1820s, he represented Pennsylvania in the US House of Representatives and then in the US Senate. He served as Andrew Jackson's Minister to Russia and emerged as one of the most prominent Democrats of the 1840s and 1850s. He was Polk's Secretary of State and Pierce's Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Buchanan was nominated by the Democratic Party in 1856 defeating incumbent Franklin Pierce and Ill. Senator Stephen A. Douglas for the nomination. He won the presidency in a 3-man race against Republican John C. Fremont and Know-Nothing Millard Fillmore. Shortly after taking office, he lobbied the Supreme Court to issue a broad ruling in the Dred Scott case. He allied with the South in attempting to gain admission of Kansas into the Union as a slave state under the Lecompton Constitution and, in the process, alienated Republican abolitionists and Northern Democrats, most of whom supported the principle of popular sovereignty in determining a new state's slaveholding status. In the midst of growing sectionalism, the Panic of 1857 struck the nation. Buchanan indicated in his 1857 inaugural address that he would not seek a 2nd term; he kept his word, and supported Vice President John C. Breckinridge in the 1860 election. Republican nominee Lincoln, running on a platform of keeping slavery out of all Western territories, defeated the splintered Democratic Party and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell to win the election. In response, 7 Southern states seceded from the Union, leading to Civil War. Buchanan viewed secession as illegal, but going to war to stop it was also illegal, and so didn't confront the new Confederacy militarily. During the Civil War, he publicly defended himself against charges that he was responsible for the War. He published his memoirs, Mr. Buchanan's Administration on the Eve of Rebellion, in 1866. He died in 1868 at age 77. His inability to address the sharply divided pro- and anti-slavery partisans with a unifying principle on the brink of the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst presidents in US history and his failure to deal with secession the worst presidential mistake ever made. 3 x 5 (unopened) folded letter address leaf addressed by Buchanan to James A. Caldwell Esq., Harrisburg, Penna., he writes "Free" and adds his signature at top right. Postmarked Washington City D. C., Jan. 31 (no year). Inside is an undated ALS of Matthew Waite to Caldwell, noting he is sending Caldwell $100 "by the kindness of Mr. Buchanan" and is sorry he could not send a larger sum, finding it difficult to make his collections. Waite asks Caldwell about the "prospect for slates in the spring" and asks Caldwell for some good "cargo" early in the spring "if please the Lord we are both spared". Several misspellings by Waite. With a steel engraving of Buchanan for matting and framing.

Condition: Very good, slight vertical center fold, nice 4" signature of Buchanan with an extra "James" for good measure.
Type:Free Franked Address Leaf






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