tion laws of John Adams, brought the party
into dispute, and the name of Federalist
became a reproach. Mr. Buchanan almost
immediately upon entering Congress began
to incline more and more to the Republicans.
In tlie stormy Presidential election
of 1824, in which Jackson, Clay, Crawford
and John Quincy Adams were candidates,
Mr. Buchanan espoused the cause of General
Jackson and unrelentingly opposed the
administration of Mr. Adams.
Upon his elevation to the Presidency,
General Jackson appointed Mr. Buchanan,
minister to Russia. Upon his return in 1833
he was elected to a seat in the United States
Senate. He there met as his associates,
Webster, Clay, NWright and Calhoun. He
advocated the measures proposed by President
Jackson of making reprisals against
i rance, and defended the course of the President
in his unprecedented and wholesale
removals from office of those who were not
the supporters of his administration. Upon
this question he was brought into direct collision
with Henry Clay. In the discussion
of the question respecting the admission of
MIichigan and Arkansas into the Union, Mr.
Buchanan defined his position by saying:
The older I grow, the more I am inclined
to be what is called a State-rights
M. de Tocqueville, in his renowned work
upon " Democracy in America," foresaw
the trouble which was inevitable from the
doctrine of State sovereignty as held by
Calhoun and Buchanan. He was convinced
that the National Government was
losing that strength which was essential
to its own existence, and that the States
were assutning powers which threatened
the perpetuity of the Union. Mr. Buchanan
received the book in the Senate and declared
the fears of De Tocqueville to be
groundless, and yet he lived to sit in the
Presidential chair and see State after State,
in accordance with his own views of State
rights, breaking from the Union, thus
crumbling our Republic into ruins; while
the unhappy old man folded his arms in
despair, declaring that the National Constitution
invested him with no power to arrest
Upon Mr. Polk's accession to the Presidency,
Mr. Buchanan became Secretary of
State, and as such took his share of the
responsibility in the conduct of the Mexican
war. At the close of Mr. Polk's administration,
Mr. Buchanan retired to private
life; but his intelligence, and his great
ability as a statesman, enabled him to exert
a powerful influence in National affairs.
Mr. Pierce, upon his election to the
Presidency, honored Mr. Buchanan with
the mission to England. In the year 1856
the National Democratic convention nominated
Mr. Buchanan for the Presidency.
The political conflict was one of the most
severe in which our country has ever engaged.
On the 4th of March, 1857, Mr.
Buchanan was inaugurated President. His
cabinet were Lewis Cass, Howell Cobb,
J. B. Floyd, Isaac Toucey, Jacob Thompson,
A. V. Brown and J. S. Black.
The disruption of the Democratic party,
in consequence of the manner in which the
issue of the nationality of slavery was
pressed by the Southern wing, occurred at
the National convention, held at Charleston
in April, I860, for the nomination of Mr.
Buchanan's successor, when the majority
of Southern delegates withdrew upon the
passage of a resolution declaring that the
constitutional status of slavery should be
determined by the Supreme Court.
In the next Presidential canvass Abraham
Lincoln was nominated by the opponents
of Mr. Buchanan's administration.
Mr. Buchanan remained in Washington
long enough to see his successor installed
and then retired to his home in Wheatiand.
He died June i, I868, aged seventy-seven
Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.. Chicago, Illinois. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/. Accessed August 30, 2015.