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Collection
James Buchanan Family Papers, Part 1 James Buchanan
Object ID
JBFP 1.1.1.243
Date Range
1832-1867
  2 documents     165 images  
Description Level
Item
Collection
James Buchanan Family Papers, Part 1 James Buchanan
Description
Various locations, 1832-1867 (The originals of the following 34 letters and one poem are owned by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.)
Letter 1 Washington, 12 October 1847 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry, Georgetown College, making an appointment for his nephew at his dentist, Dr. Gunnell and stating that he will not use his former dentist, Mr. Humphreys; Mr. Bartle or Buchanan will accompany him.
Letter 2 Wheatland, 17 August 1849 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. [Henry] noting that many inquired of him at Bedford Springs; wishing him to get his teeth properly attended to; hoping that he will be able to enter the sophomore class at Princeton; concluding with family gossip including the visit of Mrs. Greenhow, her three daughters, and a nurse along with Harriet and Eskridge Lane; and finally hoping to see him “should you answer my reasonable expectations; otherwise your presence will afford me no pleasure.” Sent to Bolmar’s, at Bolmar’s, West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Letter 3 Wheatland, 7 March 1850 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry reporting that he is happy that Mr. Macken sent him the “Dictionnaire Universal”; asking that he bring the dog Mr. Bolmar promised; family gossip including Buchanan’s visit to Miss Dow, “your Sweetheart in Washington,” but she won’t wait long for a proposal; the Pleasantons spoke highly of him; and Clem regrets not writing. Sent to Bolmar’s, West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Letter 4 Clarendon Hotel, London, 15 September 1853 (Fragment) Letter from James Buchanan probably to James B. Henry imploring him to apply diligence and application to his studies; describing the dull London scene since most of the “fashionables” are out of town, mentioning the large number of Americans passing through the Legation because of passports, Col. Sickles, Mr. Welsh and Mr. Lawrence make this the best Legation of all, and his New York servant is excellent; having to house at present vexes him; will visit the Ladies Wellesley and Stafford in a palace built by Cardinal Wolsey; Mr. Peabody “the great & rich American Banker” hosted a “magnificent” dinner at the Garter Hotel, along with about forty Americans; is appreciative of Mr. Ingersoll and his niece, Miss Willcox; and finally wants to be remembered to “Miss Lily and her father, Mr. & Mrs. Plett, Mr. & Mrs. Van Dyke & Miss Mary & Louise, Mr. & Mrs. Tyler, Mr. & Mcs. M’Kibbin” and especially to young Mr. McKibbin for the cigars and his kindest regards toand r. & Mrs. Cadwalader, Pierce Butler, Col. Marin, Mr. Wescott and …[Rest of letter cut off]
Letter 5 U.S. Legation, London, 2 February 1855 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry expressing happiness that Henry has recovered his health at Wheatland and hopes to return in October; praises Henry’s uncle and aunt for their positive influence on him; thanks him for the local information and remember him kindly to “the late Miss Theodora, now Mrs. I know not what”; liked Coke upon Littleton but didn’t care for the Lord, who was also the Lord Chancellor, but likes the present one; does not think the debaters in Parliament are superior of those of the U.S.; cautions him to postpone a trip to Europe until his education is finished; urges him to invest his “surplus” instead of spending it; Harriet is visiting friends in Lancashire and really enjoying her friendships; reporting that his health is “as usual, ” he asks to be remembered to “Mr Cadwalader, Mr. & Mrs. Plett & all other friends.” Sent in care of Henry & Sharff, 14 Wall St., New York.
Letter 6 Legation of the United States, London, 2 March 1855 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry expressing his happiness of Henry’s health and his deep interest in his welfare; urges him to stay in Pennsylvania to set up his practice; and to defer any decisions concerning his resettling until Buchanan returns in October. Sent to 84 West 48 Street, New York.
Letter 7 Legation of the United States, London, 27 July 1855 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry hoping to be home in time for Henry’s admission to the bar and his return from Europe; saying that the news of the war is received by every steamer, and while he hates “the season,” Harriet thrives on it; imploring him to always tell the truth, even to avoid “white lies” and fibs; hoping his tenure will end on September 30, comparing the English unfavorably to Americans; and asking to be remembered to Mr. and Mrs. Plett and to Mr. Cadwalader; Harriet sends her love. [Signature cut out]
Letter 8 U.S. Legation, Paris, 24 March 1856 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry noting that in Paris he is visiting Judge Mason and then to the Hague to visit Mr. Belmont, then to Brussels, back to Paris, and then embark on The Arago at Havre on April 9; saying that Mr. Dallas will present him appropriately, and Mr. Thomas Baring will advance him ?100 if needed; Mr. Moran will stay with Mr. Dallas for only a month longer; the Pennsylvania State Convention treated his friends well; and that Mr. Mason and family will receive Henry when he reaches Paris. Letter 9 Wheatland, 13 June 1862 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry stating that the portrait of the prince arrived and is not standing in the large dining room; sends a few letters for Harriet; Brother Edward left this morning, is happy that Henry’s business is increasing and hopes he has “sufficient energy & industry to keep up with it”; and sends love to his wife and the two Harriets. In a Post Script, Miss Hetty sends her regards and hopes to visit soon. Sent to 14 Wall Street, New York, N. Y.
Letter 10 Wheatland, near Lancaster, 23 August 1863 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry expressing his profound regrets on the loss of Henry’s wife, putting all hope in the Christian faith; spent a fortnight at Bedford, being the oldest man there and was treated very kindly; Annie Buchanan and her sister Lois just completed their visit; and sends kind regards to Mr. Nicholson and his family.
Letter 11 Wheatland, 1 March 1864 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry reporting that he had been downstairs for a fortnight suffering from “painful and acute rheumatism in the legs but hopes to be in the office tomorrow”; the time for cutting coupons is near, including some for Harriet and Miss Hetty; Harriet is ill and Harriet Buchanan is still visiting; the New York Democrats have “put their foot in it” being led by Dean Richmond and August Belmont, etc., who broke up the party in Charleston. Sent to 14 Wall Street, New York.
Letter 12 Wheatland, 19 M[arch] [1861] Letter to James B. Henry from Miss Hetty Parker saying that she has sent by express a number of family items; Buchanan and Harriet are very well, but James Lane has lost his “little Daughter Patty” from scarlet fever; Buchanan and Mr. Lane have reconciled; Mr. Bair rented his farm, his mother is ill at her daughter’s, Mrs. Beisman; Mrs. Fahnestock is visiting; and asked to be remembered to his wife and son Buchanan, as well as Mr. Shell. Sent to 14 Wall Street, New York.
Letter 13 Wheatland, 31 May 1864 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry anticipating his upcoming visit but asking that he dissuade Mr. Schell since Buchanan wants to discuss “domestic matters”; asks that he bring the bond of George Sanderson; asks if the California legislature has recognized Quick Silver Mining Company; and Harriet and Miss Hetty send their love. Sent to 14 Wall Street, New York.
Letter 14 Wheatland, 6 March 1865 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry praising Henry for doing everything right but thinks he has too much stock in Quick Silver; requests a number bonds, mortgages, and coupons; Harriet left for Washington; read with deep sorrow Lincoln’s second inaugural address; asks to be remembered to Mr. Schell and Judge Roosevelt; and Miss Annie and Miss Hetty send their love, the latter suffering from a very bad cold.
Letter 15 Wheatland, 24 January 1866 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry saying he is ready to send the drafts; asking that he tell Mrs. Johnston he has letters from Mr. Herbert Saunders and Mr. Cellon congratulating her on her marriage; and that he has not written because he is not sure she has returned to New York. Sent to 14 Wall Street, New York.
Letter 16 Wheatland, 24 August 1866 Letter to James B. Henry expressing anxiousness over a deed for some property in Maryland because of “Bowie and his prevarications” and Mrs. Leonard’s abuse of him; wanting to make sure he has clear title; met Frederick S. Poole of Poolesville, who knows the property in question; and Mrs. Johnston and Becky Shunk (formerly Black) are visiting.
Letter 17 Wheatland, 13 September 1866 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry expressing happiness that the property in Maryland is being handled but does not wish to dispossess the Leonards; encloses a check for expenses and fee; Harriet is still visiting but Mrs. Johnston left yesterday and seems very happily pregnant; his health is as usual; thinks the defection of Mr. Johnston from his party will not add much to the strength of the Democrats; Harriet and Miss Hetty send love; asks to be remembered to the Judge and Mr. Schell. Sent to 240 Broadway, New York.
Letter 18 Wheatland, 5 February 1867 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry reporting that Mrs. Leonard had died, leaving only one child, and that he will not evict Mr. Leonard at the moment, partly because there is no one else to live on the property since Mr. Riggs cannot; mentions several other coupons coming due; is sorry Henry lost the Tyler will case and wishes Henry had argued the case before the Court of Appeals himself; Mr. Shunk’s health is not good and wants to connect himself with a daily newspaper in Philadelphia; he has a charming person; Buchanan’s rheumatism is troublesome; and Miss Hetty wants to be kindly remembered. Sent to 240 Broadway, New York.
Letter 19 Wheatland, 10 June 1867 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry hoping for a visit soon to consume his “excellent claret & can furnish you as much of this medicine as your heart can desire”; more coupons are due; Annie and Alice Buchanan are visiting; and Miss Hetty is still on the crutch. Letter 20 Wheatland, 25 July 1867 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry regretting that he can’t travel much except for a few days at Cape May, accompanied by Mr. Baker; William Buchanan, suffering from consumption, is visiting and being nursed by Miss Annie; Harriet will spend two months at Wheatland after visiting Bedford Springs; was happy that Henry visited; more coupons due; worries about his relationship with Chemical Bank; and would like to see Henry’s son. Sent to 33 Wall Street, New York.
Letter 21 Wheatland, near Lancaster, 16 September 1867 Letter from James Buchanan to James B. Henry acknowledging the receipt of the gin but Benton’s book and the knife sharpener have not come; Mr. Shunk has misplaced papers vital to Buchanan’s needs, he will have Mr. Reed handle the matter; Mr. Johnston just left for Baltimore and Mrs. Johnston and the baby are well; Buchanan’s health is not very good, but while the medicine is not totally effective he has faith he will recover; welcomes Mr. Schell any time; and encloses a check for the gin, etc.
Letter 22 Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 13 August 1861 Power of Attorney granted to Messrs. William and John O’Brien of the City of New York to transfer a certificate in Virginia.
Letter 23 Washington, 11 December 1837 Letter from James Buchanan to Rev. Robert Henry acknowledging a check from Dr. Speer and hopes the remaining interest will be forthcoming; living in comfortable quarters with agreeable companions but thinks the upcoming session of Congress will be disagreeable; though the Democrats lost New York this election, they will do better next time; the political climate looks better in the South; James Lane seems to be in good health; Edward and family are also well; encloses an advertisement for a patent medicine for Elizabeth with precautions; sends his love to Elizabeth and implores her to exercise for her health. Sent to Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 24 Washington, 12 March 1838 Letter from James Buchanan to Rev. Robert Henry expressing happiness that the Dr. Speer matter is now closed and sends his love to Harriet. Sent to Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 25 St. Petersburg, Russia, 3 July 1833 Letter from James Buchanan to Elizabeth Buchanan [his mother] hoping to return home after touring parts of Europe, reaching the U.S. early in December; describes his visit to Moscow and was impressed; visited the Shrine of St. Sierge the Tutelary; his health is good, but cannot get used to almost twenty-four hours of light; will give a dinner for all respectable Americans in St. Petersburg; he likes the only resident American merchant in St. Petersburg, Mr. Ropes; met Mr. Swan, a missionary to the “Pagans of Siberia”; received newspapers from New York, but no letters; learned of Edward’s marriage second hand, but not from Edward; sends love to Harriett and Elisabeth and Mr. Henry. Sent care of the Rev. Mr. Henry, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Letter 26 No place, no date Poem by Elizabeth Buchanan [Buchanan’s mother] praising the rural, poor life over that of the city and the rich.
Letter 27 St. Petersburg, 3/15 August 1832 Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry expressing his happiness that she is married and his feelings over her not being married; sharing his thoughts on St. Petersburg and Russia, emphasizing the “profanation of the Lord’s day particularly in the afternoon”; his “domestic arrangements” are comfortable; comments on his staff, Mr. Clay, the Secretary of Legation and Mr. Barry, and the American Consul, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Munroe, aid-de-camp of the Emperor; would like to hear from ”poor George” and how he is preparing for death; describes the climate, the effect on his health and the cholera epidemic in Canada; sends regards to Mr. Henry and Elisabeth and “any members of our family whom you may see.” Sent care of the Rev. Mr. Henry, Greensburg, Westmoreland County Pennsylvania.
Letter 28 St. Petersburg, 14/20 January, or 26th N. S. 1833 Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry grateful to have received her letter describing her marriage but disappointed that her letter took so long to reach him; has more leisure since the treaty and has made acquaintances among the populace; the horrors of the Russian winters are highly exaggerated even with the very short days; describes “the strangest spectacle I have ever witnessed”: a ball to which 20,000 people were invited; five hundred guests, including Buchanan, ate in an apartment reminiscent of an Arabian Nights setting; describes the uncomfortable situation of the Queen of Georgia since her country is now a province of Russia; has asked General Jackson to allow him to return home, perhaps in November; deeply hurt over the death of George; enjoys the company of Munroe, of a good family in Washington; cautions her not to fall into the trap of many clergyman’s wives, that of setting themselves up as leaders among the women; wishes to be remembered kindly to their mother, Elisabeth, and Mr. Henry, as well as any other “persons in your family.” Sent care of the Rev. Mr. Henry, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Letter 29 Lancaster, 4 November 1837 Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry expressing condolences upon the death of her husband and saying Mr. Henry’s last two letters just arrived and would account for Buchanan’s absence at her time of great need; offers advice on how to cope and invites her to live with him; plans to join her as soon as possible; Jane is still here and invites Harriett to spend the winter with her. Sent to Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 30 [Lancaster], 2 April 1839 [Fragment] Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry saying that since he has not practiced law since returning from Russia but giving some advice on how property of the deceased might be disposed of including the money Mr. Davis has in his administrator's account. Sent to Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 31 Lancaster, 26 October 1839 Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry expressing happiness that her health has improved through a letter from Dr. Speer; offers advice of “fixing” Elisabeth for the winter and praising her good conduct; and asks to be remembered to Mr. Lane and the family.
Letter 32 Lancaster, 11 November 1839 Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry expressing pleasure that through a letter from Elizabeth he found out that Harriett’s health had greatly improved and admonishes her to fight depression and not to fear death; will visit her before going to Washington if she wishes; will handle the necessary papers to arrange of the disposition of her property; is puzzled over Elisabeth’s thanking him for money he never sent; asks to be remembered to Elisabeth, the little girls, Mr. Lane Sr.; and Miss Hetty sends her love to Harriett and Elisabeth; short list of questions follow. Sent to Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 33 May Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry enclosing a check for $100 for the use of Harriett and Elisabeth; encloses a letter from Mr. McLaughlin, with the money removed for safe keeping; James instructed him to keep any money enclosed in a letter from him; she will be in Philadelphia visiting Edward and Buchanan will go also. Sent to Mrs. Israel’s No. 91, S. 3d. Street, Philadelphia.
Letter 34 September Letter from James Buchanan to Harriett B. Henry saying that Miss Hetty will write soon; will come to see her if she stays unwell; sends regards to the little girls and Mr. Lane; wonders if she is taking counterfeit Beckwith pills because Mrs. Slaymaker was cured with the genuine ones.
Sent to Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. (fragment only)
Letter 29 Lancaster, 4 November 1837
Letter to Harriett B. Henry expressing condolences upon the death of her husband and saying Mr. Henry’s last two letters just arrived and would account for Buchanan’s absence at her time of great need; offers advice on how to cope and invites her to live with him; plans to join her as soon as possible; Jane is still here and invites Harriett to spend the winter with her. Sent to Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 30 [Lancaster], 2 April 1839 [Fragment]
Letter to Harriett B. Henry saying that since he has not practiced law since returning from Russia but giving some advice on how property of the deceased might be disposed of including the money Mr. Davis has in his admin. account. Sent to Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 31 Lancaster, 26 October 1839
Letter to Harriett B. Henry expressing happiness that her health has improved through a letter from Dr. Speer; offers advice of “fixing” Elisabeth for the winter and praising her good conduct; and asks to be remembered to Mr. Lane and the family.
Letter 32 Lancaster, 11 November 1839
Letter to Harriett B. Henry expressing pleasure that through a letter from Elizabeth he found out that Harriett’s health had greatly improved and admonishes her to fight depression and not to fear death; will visit her before going to Washington if she wishes; will handle the necessary papers to arrange of the disposition of her property; is puzzled over Elisabeth’s thanking him for money he never sent; asks to be remembered to Elisabeth, the little girls, Mr. Lane Sr.; and Miss Hetty sends her love to Harriett and Elisabeth; short list of questions follow. Sent to Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Letter 33 May
Letter to Harriett B. Henry enclosing a check for $100 for the use of Harriett and Elisabeth; encloses a letter from Mr. McLaughlin, with the money removed for safe keeping; James instructed him to keep any money enclosed in a letter from him; she will be in Philadelphia visiting Edward and Buchanan will go also. Sent to Mrs. Israel’s No. 91, S. 3d. Street, Philadelphia.
Letter 34 September
Letter to Harriett B. Henry saying that Miss Hetty will write soon; will come to see her if she stays unwell; sends regards to the little girls and Mr. Lane; wonders if she is taking counterfeit Beckwith pills because Mrs. Slaymaker was cured with the genuine ones.
Custodial History
The James Buchanan Family Papers were collected by the James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland. This collection was relocated from the Wheatland mansion to the LancasterHistory archives in the Spring of 2009. Digitization of the James Buchanan Family Papers was funded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, PHMC Appl ID # 201808013051, 2019-2020.
Date Range
1832-1867
Year Range From
1832
Year Range To
1867
Creator
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
People
Buchanan, James
Henry, James Buchanan
Gunnell, James Samuel
Humphreys, Dr.
Johnston, Harriet Lane
Lane, Elliott Eskridge
Greenhow, Rose O’Neal
Moore, Florence Virginia Greenhow
Greenhow, Gertrude
Cravens, Leila Greenhow
Pleasonton, Clementina
Baker, Joseph Boyd
Bolmar, Anthony
Sickles, Daniel Edgar
Welsh, William Henry
Lawrence, Abbott
Wellington, Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of
Wellesley, Elizabeth Hay, Lady
Stafford, Elizabeth
Wolsey, Thomas
Peabody, George
Ingersoll, Joseph Reed
Cadwalader, Mr.
Cadwalader, Mrs.
Butler, Pierce
Marin, Colonel
Plitt, George
Plitt, Sophia Wager
Van Dyke, James Cole
Van Dyke, Elizabeth M. Snyder
Tyler, Robert
Tyler, Priscilla Cooper
Wescott, James Diament
McKibbin, Chambers
McKibbin, Jane Bell
Sugden, Edward Burtenshaw
Cranworth, Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron
Mason, John Young
Belmont, August
Baring, Thomas
Dallas, Alexander Robert Charles
Moran, Benjamin
Windsor, Edward, Duke of
Edward Albert, Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Buchanan, Edward Young
Henry, Mary Hagner Nicholson
Parker, Esther
Irving, Harriet
Buchanan, Ann
Cassatt, Maria Lois Buchanan
Nicholson, Joseph Hopper
Buchanan, Harriet Jane
Richmond, Dean
Lane, James Buchanan
Lane, Patty
Bair, Mr.
Beisman, Mrs.
Fahnestock, Mrs.
Schell, Mr.
Henry, Buchanan
Sanderson, George
Lincoln, Abraham
Roosevelt, James John
Saunders, Herbert
Cellon, Mr.
Leonard, Susan H.
Poole, Frederick Sprigg
Shunk, Rebekah Black
Leonard, John A. B.
Schell, Augustus
Peter, Sallie Johns
Riggs, George Washington
Shunk, James F.
Ewing, Alice Conyngham Buchanan
Buchanan, William Foster
Johnston, James Buchanan
Slaymaker, Mrs.
Israel, Mrs.
O’Brien, John
O’Brien, William
Henry, Robert
Speer, James Ramsey
Buchanan, Elizabeth Speer
Buchanan, Elizabeth
Henry, Harriet E. Buchanan
Ropes, John Codman
Swan, William
Clay, Henry
Barry, William Taylor
Gibson, Abraham
Monroe, Columbus
Jackson, Andrew
Buchanan, George Washington
Lane, Jane Ann Buchanan
Lane, Elliott Tole
Subjects
Letters
Search Terms
Letters
Correspondence
James Buchanan
Buchanan Collections
James Buchanan Presidential Library
Extent
bound, 166 pages to scan
Object Name
Letter
Language
English
Accession Number
JBMS2010.002-34
Object ID
JBFP 1.1.1.243
Parent Object ID
JBFP Part 1 Series 1
Other Number
JBFP Part 1, Series 1, Subseries 1, Folder 243
Location
LancasterHistory, Lancaster, PA
Room
Archives South
Container
JBFP Part 1, Box 3
Location of Originals
Originals are in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Associated Material
James Buchanan Papers, Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections,
http://archives.dickinson.edu/collection-descriptions/james-buchanan-papers
James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers, Library of Congress,
https://www.loc.gov/collections/james-buchanan-and-harriet-lane-johnston-papers/
James Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania,
http://www2.hsp.org/collections/manuscripts/b/Buchanan0091.html
James Buchanan Papers, Penn State University Libraries,
https://libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1458.htm
Related Item Notes
James Buchanan Family Papers
MG-96 James Buchanan Collection
Historical Society of Pennsylvania microfilm
Photograph collections
Curatorial collections
Wheatland Mansion
Notes
May 2020 PastPerfect Conversion
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available. Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material.
Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pa.
Images
Documents
Less detail
Collection
James Buchanan Family Papers
Object ID
JBFP Part 3 Series 2
  1 document  
Description Level
Series
Collection
James Buchanan Family Papers
Description
James Buchanan Family Papers, Part 3 Papers of James Buchanan Henry, Series 2 contains the financial and legal documents of James Buchanan Henry.
Subseries 1 includes bills, receipts, ledgers, and accounts with F. P. Freeman & Co., New York, Joseph Schell for footwear, and Lehigh University.
Subseries 2 contains the legal papers including a summons, deeds, and the marriage license of James Buchanan Henry and Mary Hagner Nicholson. The dates on these documents range from 1794 to 1905.
Admin/Biographical History
James Buchanan Henry, also known as Buck, was born on March 1, 1833. Just like his cousin, Harriet, Buck lost both of his parents and was taken in as James Buchanan's ward in 1840. During his early years, he attended several boarding schools and eventually graduated from the College of New Jersey. Though his interests remained with the arts, Buck went on to read law under an attorney named John Cadwalader. When James Buchanan assumed the presidency, he called for Buck to join him as his private secretary, a position known today as the Chief of Staff. While Buck worked at Washington, he found himself in frequent conflict with his Uncle. This conflict came to a head in 1858 when Buck proposed to his sweetheart, Mary Nicholson. Upset that Buck hadn't consulted him on the proposal, James Buchanan disapproved of the match. Buck left his position as private secretary and went on to marry Miss Nicholson. The couple would have two children, one of whom would survive into adulthood.
Soon after the birth of their second child, Mary Nicholson died of consumption, leaving Buck a widower. Later on, he married Louisa Anderson, and the two had six sons. After fourteen years of marriage, Louisa died. Buck would marry for a third time much later in his life to a woman named Margaret Grote Elliman. Buck was 71 and Margaret was 24. The two had no children and enjoyed 11 years of marriage before Buck died on February 17, 1915. [https://www.lancasterhistory.org/about-wheatland/, accessed 10/24/2019]
Custodial History
The James Buchanan Family Papers were collected by the James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland. This collection was relocated from the Wheatland mansion to the LancasterHistory archives in the Spring of 2009. Digitization of the James Buchanan Family Papers was funded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, PHMC Appl ID # 201808013051, 2019-2020.
System of Arrangement
JBFP Part 3, Series 2 Financial and Legal Documents
Subseries 1 Bills, Receipts, Ledgers, Accounts
Subseries 2 Legal Papers
Year Range From
1794
Year Range To
1905
Creator
Henry, James Buchanan, 1833-1915
People
Henry, James Buchanan
Other Creators
James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland (Lancaster, Pa.)
Subjects
Finance, Personal
Legal documents
Search Terms
James Buchanan
Buchanan Collections
Finding aids
Manuscript groups
Finance, Personal
Legal documents
James Buchanan Presidential Library
Extent
1 box, 8 folders, 19 items, .2 cubic ft.
Object Name
Archive
Language
English
Object ID
JBFP Part 3 Series 2
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives South
Wall
Side 18
Associated Material
James Buchanan Papers, Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections http://archives.dickinson.edu/collection-descriptions/james-buchanan-papers
James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers, Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/collections/james-buchanan-and-harriet-lane-johnston-papers/
James Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, http://www2.hsp.org/collections/manuscripts/b/Buchanan0091.html
James Buchanan Papers, Penn State University Libraries, https://libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1458.htm
Related Item Notes
James Buchanan Family Papers
James Buchanan Collection, MG0096
Historical Society of Pennsylvania microfilm
Photograph collections
Curatorial collections
Wheatland Mansion
Access Conditions / Restrictions
Please use digital images and transcriptions when available.
Original documents may be used by appointment. Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org at least two weeks prior to visit.
Copyright
Images have been provided for research purposes only.
LancasterHistory retains the rights to the digital images and content presented. The doctrine of fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use includes comment, criticism, teaching, and private scholarship. Any images and data downloaded, printed or photocopied for these purposes should provide a citation. All other uses beyond those allowed by fair use require written permission.
Permission for reproduction and/or publication must be obtained in writing from LancasterHistory. Some items are photocopies from other collections--researchers must obtain permission for reproduction and publication from the owner of the original material. Persons wishing to publish any material from this site must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright or other use restrictions. Publication fees may apply.
Please contact archives@lancasterhistory.org for a high-resolution image and permission to publish.
Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Documents
Less detail
Collection
James Buchanan Family Papers
Object ID
JBFP Part 1 Series 1
  1 document  
Description Level
Series
Collection
James Buchanan Family Papers
Description
The James Buchanan Family Papers, Part 1, Papers of James Buchanan, Series 1 Correspondence, Subseries 1 contains letters to James Buchanan and Subseries 2 contains letters from James Buchanan. Within these subseries, the letters are arranged chronologically, dating from 1819-1868.
This collection contains letters, both to and from James Buchanan. The letters from Buchanan range from the different periods of his life-as a private citizen and lawyer, senator, and ambassador to Russia and Britain; his Presidential term from 1857 to 1861; and his later years until his death in 1868. The earlier letters include details of his travels, political matters and the military, social engagements and responsibilities, his responsibilities as a political figure, and accounts of family chatter and gossip. He also discusses at length, in his letters to and about Harriet Lane, his opinions of whom she should marry, his opinions about her social encounters and interactions, her living situations, and her livelihood. Buchanan also often wrote about his Christian beliefs, especially during the later years of his life. Letters from his later years detail the day-to-day life at home in Wheatland, including some of his guests, his servants, and his illnesses as the end of his life neared.
The letters that are addressed to James Buchanan range in different topics, concerning military affairs, political and legal information, and family chatter. Other letters include details of Buchanan's financial matters that are in reference to loans, Buchanan's investments and purchases, deeds and bonds. There are also a number of thank-you letters and notes of recommendation.
Many of the letters are to his niece, Harriet Lane and nephew, James Buchanan Henry. Other correspondents are H. B. Swarr, Henry A. Muhlenberg, family members, Francis Scott Key, Riggs & Co., James L. Reynolds, and many political colleagues.
Admin/Biographical History
James Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791 to James Buchanan and Elizabeth Speer. He was the second child born out of ten children, and he would go on to outlive all but one of his siblings. Most popularly remembered as Pennsylvania's only President and as a lifelong bachelor, Buchanan committed a lifetime to politics. In 1821, he left his law practice and embarked on his political career after having been voted into the U.S. House of Representatives. He would remain in the House for five consecutive terms before serving as the U.S. Minister to Russia, a Senator in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Secretary of State, the U.S. Minister to Great Britain, and finally, the 15th President of the United States. He died in his bedchamber at Wheatland at 8:30 AM on June 1, 1868. He was 77 years old. [https://www.lancasterhistory.org/about-wheatland, accessed 10/24/2019]
Custodial History
The James Buchanan Family Papers were collected by the James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland. This collection was relocated from the Wheatland mansion to the LancasterHistory archives in the Spring of 2009. Digitization of the James Buchanan Family Papers was funded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, PHMC Appl ID # 201808013051, 2019-2020.
System of Arrangement
JBFP Part 1 Series 1 Correspondence
Subseries 1 Letters from James Buchanan
Subseries 2 Letters to James Buchanan
Year Range From
1819
Year Range To
1868
Creator
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
People
Buchanan, James
Johnston, Harriet Lane
Henry, James Buchanan
Swarr, Hiram Behm
Other Creators
James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland (Lancaster, Pa.)
Subjects
Letters
Personal correspondence
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
Johnston, Harriet Lane, 1830-1903
Search Terms
Letters
Correspondence, Personal
James Buchanan
Harriet Lane Johnston
Buchanan Collections
James Buchanan Presidential Library
Extent
4 boxes, 365 folders, 2 cubic ft.
Object Name
Correspondence
Language
English, French
Object ID
JBFP Part 1 Series 1
Location
LancasterHistory
Room
Archives South
Wall
Side 18
Associated Material
James Buchanan Papers, Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections http://archives.dickinson.edu/collection-descriptions/james-buchanan-papers
James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers, Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/collections/james-buchanan-and-harriet-lane-johnston-papers/
James Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, http://www2.hsp.org/collections/manuscripts/b/Buchanan0091.html
James Buchanan Papers, Penn State University Libraries, https://libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1458.htm
Related Item Notes
James Buchanan Family Papers
James Buchanan Collection, MG0096
Historical Society of Pennsylvania microfilm in the LancasterHistory Research Library
Photograph collections
Curatorial collections
Wheatland Mansion
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Credit
Courtesy of LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Documents
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