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Thursday, August 12, 2004
The 15th President of the United States, Buchanan had the misfortune to be a reasonably capable man - when the times called for genius. He was President when the Civil War broke out, and was unequal to the crisis. His successor, Abraham Lincoln, was the man of the hour..
Buchanan was born in a log cabin.. and from such humble beginnings, rose through 50 years of distinguished public service to the highest office in the land. Here is his Inaugural Address.
Buchanan was known as a 'serious drinker', as his medical records show. However, that was no bar to achievemment in 19th century America..
Some Buchanan trivia here..
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Buchanan is that he was the only bachelor president. His niece, Harriet Lane, served as his 'First Lady' ; she was a most attractive character, both physically and in terms of her character. Harriett became the 'belle of Washington' for awhile, married at age 36, suffered personal tragedies soon after, and left a lasting legacy: through her generous endowment, the Harriet Lane Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital was founded. It has become one of the finest pediatric medical facilities in the world.
I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.