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At the PrecipiceAmericans North and South during the Secession Crisis$
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Shearer Davis Bowman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833926

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895672_bowman

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

President Buchanan, the Crittenden Compromise, President Lincoln, and Fort Sumter

President Buchanan, the Crittenden Compromise, President Lincoln, and Fort Sumter

Chapter:
(p.261) 8 President Buchanan, the Crittenden Compromise, President Lincoln, and Fort Sumter
Source:
At the Precipice
Author(s):

Shearer Davis Bowman

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807895672_bowman.11

This chapter focuses on James Buchanan, who, at the age of sixty-six at his election in 1856, had drawn on long and varied experience in Washington. Yet Buchanan was deficient in the qualities of political shrewdness and capacity for personal growth that distinguished Lincoln. The Pennsylvania Democrat had repeatedly sought his party's nomination for the presidency since 1844, when he helped derail former president Martin Van Buren's attempt to win a third nomination after his failed reelection bid in 1840. Despite Buchanan's courtly manners, fastidious dress, and rather distinguished appearance, concludes historian William Gienapp, the fifteenth president proved “plodding and unimaginative” and “isolated himself from dissenting views.” At the same time, “Old Buck” impressed others as “a kind man, firmly religious, decent, and extraordinarily courteous.”

Keywords:   James Buchanan, political shrewdness, personal growth, Pennsylvania Democrat, Martin Van Buren

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