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Has America Already Had a Gay President? Four Pieces of Evidence That James Buchanan May Have Been First

By    |   Saturday, 04 Jul 2015 07:11 PM

Ever since a prominent academic declared that America's 15th president, James Buchanan, was probably homosexual, the possibility has become a part of the conversational record, if not the definitive historical record, regarding U.S. commanders-in-chief.

Buchanan occupied the White House in 1857-1861. Here is some of the information underlying the claim that he was gay — a possibility put forward in the 1999 book, "Lies Across America," by sociologist James W. Loewen.

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1. He Never Married
Lifelong bachelor Buchanan lived in Washington, D.C., with another man, U.S. Sen. William Rufus King, Democrat of Alabama, for several years. "The two men were inseparable," Loewen wrote in a 2012 History News Network blog post.

2. Personal Writings
Although Buchanan's letters were burned by relatives acting on his instructions after his death in 1868, some surviving correspondence from the era indicates a romantic bond between Buchanan and King, according to Loewen and other observers, such as Dead Presidents blogger, author and historian Anthony Bergen.

King, appointed minister to France in 1844, wrote to Buchanan, "I am selfish enough to hope you will not be able to procure an associate who will cause you to feel no regret at our separation."

In an 1844 letter to a friend, Buchanan wrote of King's absence, "I am now 'solitary and alone,' having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them."

3. Gossip
The relationship did not appear to be a secret. King was referred to by various nicknames including "Mrs. James Buchanan," The Daily Caller reported.

4. Scholarly Opinion
"Loewen is one of several historians who believe that James Buchanan … was in fact our first gay president," Time magazine reported.

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Ever since a prominent academic declared that America's 15th president, James Buchanan, was probably homosexual, the possibility has become a part of the conversational record, if not the definitive historical record, regarding U.S. commanders-in-chief.
gay president, James Buchanan
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2015-11-04
Saturday, 04 Jul 2015 07:11 PM
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