The James Buchanan Collection, 1816-present, contains material that pertains to the life and legacy of James Buchanan and his Lancaster home, Wheatland. The collection includes correspondence of James Buchanan and letters written by his niece, Harriet Lane Johnston. Newspaper articles discuss Buchanan's life and Wheatland, tell the story of Buchanan's romance with Ann Coleman, and report on commemorative events. Legal and personal business are represented by deeds, financial matters, and Buchanan's probate records.
Political papers include the Presidential appointment of Buchanan as Minister to Russia, certification to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate, and a series of letters regarding the Atlantic slave trade in 1819 and Liberia in 1858. In letters, Buchanan outlined his reasons for not wanting to run for Governor, wrote about the confidence bestowed on him by the Democratic Party, and established a fund for the city of Lancaster to purchase wood and coal for poor women during the winter. After the Crimean War, Buchanan wrote to the ambassador to the United Kingdom and observed that Russia seemed to be intent on recovering its military prestige and had made vast naval preparations.
There is an assortment of ephemera, such as programs for memorial celebrations, material related to John Updike's play Buchanan Dying, commemorative stamps, sheet music, and invitations. Souvenir pamphlets from Wheatland provide history about Buchanan's home and the museum. Speeches range from those given by Buchanan to several that honor his life and Presidency. A scrapbook describes the establishment of Wheatland as a museum and contains newspaper articles about archaeology on the site in 1948.
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.
Digitization of the James Buchanan Collection was funded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, PHMC Appl ID # 201808013051, 2019-2020.
James Buchanan and Wheatland Scrapbook, February 1936-May
1948 was cataloged as part of a project funded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, ME60112, 2007-2008.
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 (JBFP)
Historical Society of Pennsylvania microfilm in the LancasterHistory Research Library
LancasterHistory Library collection
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The Revolutionary War Collection contains a variety of materials from and about the Revolutionary War in Lancaster County and Pennsylvania. The original records include correspondence, military pay certificates, court records, and an orderly book kept by Lt. Col. Adam Hubley, Jr. during the Sullivan Campaign of 1779. There are also research notes and secondary sources, including a list of prisoners of war, a list of males in Lancaster County in 1776, Continental Hospital Returns 1777-1780, articles, information on soldiers buried in Lancaster County, and an article about John Paul Jones.
Cataloged prior to 1997. Items have been added and the finding aid has been updated since 1997.
Linden Hall Seminary is a girls' school located in Lititz, Pa. Founded in 1742, it is the oldest continuously operated girls' school in the United States. Founded by the Moravian community. Collection contains workbooks, account sheet, daybook, fundraising information, and the Echo.
This collection was cataloged prior to 1997; added to database 8 Febraury 2018.
Collection contains material pertaining to pageants, festivals, and celebrations in Lancaster County. The majority of the collection pertains to the "Pageant of Liberty," celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (1776-1926), and the "Pageant of Gratitude," commemorating the 200th anniversary of the formation of Lancaster County (1729-1929). Included are scripts, minutes, programs, invitations, correspondence, financial records, tickets, photographs, blueprints, and sheet music.
This collection was cataloged prior to 1997; added to database 8 February 2018.
The World War II Collection contains materials pertaining to local defense plans during World War II (1939-1945) including the correspondence of Civil Defense Units, air raid wardens, and police; member lists; an emergency defense plan; newspaper clippings; ephemera such as war ration books, song book, and programs; and records of the Victory Homecoming Parade of 14 June 1946. Local newsletters were sent to soldiers to share the news of Lancaster County communities. Posters convey messages to join the military, buy war bonds, ration food and fuel, recycle, etc. Oral history interviews taken in 2003 provide biographical information and the experiences of four POWs.
Processed and finding aid prepared by RS, 2007. Items added after 2007 by HST. Added to database 31 August 2017.
In September 1854, a devastating cholera epidemic struck Columbia. This collection contains correspondence with and records of actions taken by Sanitary Committee, including minutes, accounts, donations, and bills.
Formerly titled Marietta Cholera Epidemic Records.
Processed and finding aid prepared by AH. Added to database 5 October 2017.
Collection contains the annual convention publications, under various titles, of the Lancaster County (Pa.) Sunday School Association. The contents of the publications vary, but generally include directories and Sunday school attendance statistics from the churches in each district. Many publications contain commercial advertisements while a few contain pictures or drawings of churches and entertainment sites.
Collection cataloged circa 1998; added to database 8 May 2018.
This collection contains documents beginning with the American Revolution and continuing through the War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. There are account books, notes and written letters, vouchers, inspections of camps, receipts of payments, honorable discharge certificates, lists of absentees, envelopes used during the Civil War, and lists of unpaid fines during the service of the Pennsylvania Militia soldiers. There are also newsletters and articles relating to World Wars I and II and the Korean War for advertisement and description of items including the history of the Philadelphia Naval Base.
Processed and finding aid prepared by DD, Summer 2000. Updated by HST, 2010, 2011.