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James Buchanan Family Papers
Object ID
JBFP Part 3 Series 1
  1 document  
Description Level
James Buchanan Family Papers
James Buchanan Family Papers, Part 3 Papers of James Buchanan Henry, Series 1 contains the correspondence of James Buchanan Henry. Subseries 1 is letters written by James Buchanan Henry and Subseries 2 is letters received by James Buchanan Henry. The letters are primarily to and from family members and friends with family news, details of his travels, political and business matters, social engagements and responsibilities, and information about friends. Correspondents include Mary Hagner Nicholson Henry, Louisa Anderson Henry, his children, extended family members, William Uhler Hensel, Hiram B. Swarr, classmates, and friends. The dates range from 1850 to 1909.
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. [, 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 1 Correspondence
Subseries 1 Letters from James Buchanan Henry
Subseries 2 Letters to James Buchanan Henry
Year Range From
Year Range To
Henry, James Buchanan, 1833-1915
Buchanan, James
Henry, James Buchanan
Henry, Mary Hagner Nicholson
Henry, Louisa Anderson
Other Creators
James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland (Lancaster, Pa.)
Personal correspondence
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
Search Terms
James Buchanan
Harriet Lane Johnston
Buchanan Collections
Correspondence, Personal
Manuscript groups
Finding aids
James Buchanan Presidential Library
4 boxes, 331 folders, 667 items, 1.5 cubic ft.
Object Name
English, French, Spanish, Italian
Object ID
JBFP Part 3 Series 1
Archives South
Side 18
Associated Material
James Buchanan Papers, Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections
James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers, Library of Congress
James Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania,
James Buchanan Papers, Penn State University Libraries,
Related Item Notes
James Buchanan Family Papers
James Buchanan Collection, MG0096
Historical Society of Pennsylvania microfilm
Photograph collections
Curatorial collections
Wheatland Mansion
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