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James Buchanan: A Resource Guide

Serving as the fifteenth U.S. president (1857-61), James Buchanan spent his career in public service, both domestically and overseas. This guide provides access to digital materials, external websites, and a selected print bibliography.


The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with James Buchanan, including the James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers held in the Library's Manuscript Division. Born in Cove Gap (near Mercersburg), Franklin County, Pennsylvania, on April 23, 1791, Buchanan served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1814-16), the U.S. House of Representatives (1821-31), and the U.S. Senate (1834-45). He also served as the Minister to Russia (1832-33), Secretary of State in James K. Polk's administration (1845-49), and Minister to Great Britain (1853-56). In 1856, James Buchanan was elected the fifteenth President of the United States (1857-61) on the Democratic ticket.

This resource guide compiles links to digital materials related to James Buchanan such as manuscripts, broadsides, government documents, newspaper articles, sheet music, and images that are available throughout the Library of Congress website. In addition, it provides links to external websites focusing on Buchanan and a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers.