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[Library of Congress]
15th President (1857-1861)
Education: Dickinson College
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
Summary of Religious Views:
Buchanan had desired to join the Presbyterian church during the Civil War, but they at that time refused him. He was finally admitted to membership in the church on 23 September 1865. In his will, Buchanan made a generous bequest to the Presbyterian church.
Views on Religion & Politics:
"I hope I am a Christian. I think I have much of the experience which you describe, and as soon as I retire, I will unite with the Presbyterian Church." -- said to Rev. William M. Paxton, August 1860
"I must delay for the honor of religion. If I were to unite with the church now, they would say 'hypocrite' from Maine to Georgia." -- said to Rev. William M. Paxton, August 1860, explaining why he would delay joining until his retirement
"I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion." -- I have not been able to determine the validity of this quote. If anyone can provide a citation from original sources, or can demonstrate the falsity of the quote, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links
Frederick Moore Binder, "James Buchanan: Jacksonian Expansionist," Historian, Vol. 55, No. 1, 1992, pp. 69-84
Philip Shriver Klein, "James Buchanan: Selfish Politician or Christian Statesman?," Journal of Presbyterian History, 42, March 1964, pp. 1-18.
David. Meerse, "Buchanan, the Patronage, and the Lecompton Constitution: a Case Study," Civil War History, Vol. 41, No. 4, 1995, pp. 291-312