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He signs a "strictly private" autograph letter to a friend discussing whether he would accept the position of Secretary of State if offered it by President-elect Pierce.
Political ALS: "James Buchanan", 1 page, 8x10. Wheatland, near Lancaster, 1852 November 23. The future 15th U.S. President writes to Henry Welsh, Esquire. In full: "I have received the Buckwheat flour, & you could have sent me nothing more acceptable. Bye the by, this reminds me that I have never, I believe, paid for the flour I received last year. I hope you will let me know the amount. I have literally no news. I receive letters daily from this & other States urging me strongly to accept the State Department, just as though this were in my power; whilst several of my friends are of a contrary opinion. Should it ever be offered, I shall decide the question deliberately. All my personal wishes are against it, nor can I at present foresee that either my duty to my country or my friends require that I should sacrifice my private inclinations. What is your opinion? All of this is of course strictly private - from your friend." Buchanan had served as Secretary of State from 1845-1849 in the Democratic Polk Administration. Whigs Taylor and Fillmore won in 1848, but the Democrats were returned to power when Franklin Pierce was elected President in 1852. Buchanan was never offered a post in the State Department. His rival for the 1852 presidential nomination, William L. Marcy, was asked by Pierce to be Secretary of State. Buchanan was asked to be U.S. Minister to Great Britain, a post he accepted. He returned in April 1856 and, at the Democratic Convention held in Cincinnati, June 2-6, 1856, became the only person in history to deny an incumbent U.S. President renomination. He served one term, leaving office seven weeks before his 70th birthday. On blue paper. Usual folds, 1 horizontal fold runs through top loop of the "J" in James and the "B" and "h" in Buchanan. 1 vertical fold between the "a" and "m" in James, else fine.

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

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