Tags: Presidential History | james buchanan | memorial | presidential | monuments

In Memorial: Presidential Monuments Dedicated to James Buchanan

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 08:10 PM

James Buchanan, the 15th United States president, was in office as unrest that would lead to the Civil War mounted. A few monuments honor his legacy, although some people believe Buchanan's refusal to take a stance on the slavery debate was what eventually led to the Civil War.

During his time in office, Buchanan worked to ease tensions between the North and South by creating an administration with people from both sides. However, this only fueled the debate, and with the Dred Scott decision that African-Americans could not be American citizens coming just days into Buchanan’s term, the sides were separated even more.

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He left office, succeeded by Abraham Lincoln, about a month before the war began.

"James Buchanan will never be ranked among the nation’s more popular or successful presidents," wrote history professor Michael J. Birkner for Lancaster Online.

Still, Buchanan led the nation for four years to the best of his ability, and memorials in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania honor his service to the country.

The James Buchanan Memorial is a bronze and granite memorial in the southeast corner of Meridian Hill Park Northwest, in Washington, D.C. The memorial, which was designed and created by architect William Gordon Beecher and sculptor Hans Schuler, was commissioned in 1916, but not approved by Congress until two years later. The completed statue, made to represent law and diplomacy, was unveiled in 1930.

The memorial is engraved with the text of Buchanan’s cabinet member Jeremiah S. Black, calling the president, “The incorruptible statesman whose walk was upon the mountain ranges of the law.”

There is also a pyramid-shaped monument for Buchanan in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, at the site of his birthplace. It was commissioned by his niece. The cabin where Buchanan was born in 1791 sits not far away on the grounds of Mercersburg Academy.

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James Buchanan, the 15th United States president, was in office as unrest that would lead to the Civil War mounted. A few monuments honor his legacy, although some people believe Buchanan's refusal to take a stance on the slavery debate was what eventually led to the Civil War.
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Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 08:10 PM
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