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Temporarily out of office (1850), he signs a handwritten letter dealing with political maneuvers.
Autograph Letter signed: "James Buchanan", 1 page, 8x7½. Wheatland, 1850 November 12. To Col. William B Fordney. In full: "I know not whether you have yet delivered the letter to Col. Frazer. If the delivery should be delayed until after the Convention tomorrow, he & his friends may say that I wrote upon the subject in consequence of their proceedings. I am very sorry that you did not insist upon his receiving it. He might have come afterwards to talk to you on the subject. If you feel reluctant to deliver it to him in person, might you not enclose it to him in a few lines stating your compliance with his request? Ever your friend." BUCHANAN (1791-1868) was a U.S. Representative (1821-31) and Senator (1834-1845), U.S. Minister to Russia (1832-1833) and Britain (1853-1856). He was Secretary of State under President Polk (1845-1849). He served one term as President (1857-1861), proving powerless to heal the growing sectional split over slavery or to prevent the secession of southern states after Lincoln's election. Wheatlands was Buchanan's estate in his native Pennsylvania. This brief letter merits further research. Buchanan held no public office in 1850, but continued to take an active hand in the affairs of his Democratic Party nationally and in his home state of Pennsylvania. The bundle of Congressional legislation known collectively as the Compromise of 1850 (passed in September of that year), but caused splits in the major parties and in nearly all states. It is likely that Buchanan's letter relates to this political turmoil. Lightly soiled. Vertical fold crosses "e" in signature. Overall, fine condition.

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Born: April 23, 1791 in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania
Died: June 1, 1868 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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