Of the forty five Presidents of the United States, only one came from Pennsylvania, James Buchanan. He was elected in 1856 and many historians say his policies led to the Civil War. What were the policies and politics of Buchanan? Did your Pennsylvania ancestors support those policies?

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In this episode, Patrick Clarke, Director of President James Buchanan’s Wheatland, shares the policies and politics of James Buchanan’s time as President so we can think about how our ancestors may have supported those policies. The politics of the 1850’s was an interesting time in American history and one I wish I could ask my ancestors about.

Wheatland was Buchanan’s home in Lancaster County, PA. You can visit there virtually or in person for tours and experience life in early 1800’s Pennsylvania.


[00:02:25] Patrick Clarke Intro

[00:05:55] Buchanan’s career prior to President

[00:09:28] Buchanan’s Presidential run

[00:15:25] Buchanan’s popularity in Pennsylvania

[00:23:04] The Bleeding Kansas controversy

[00:29:35] Buchanan’s religious faith

[00:33:14] Buchanan’s niece and the family pets

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