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James Buchanan: Meet the Only America’s President Who Never Married


-James Buchanan, who was elected in 1857, was the only unmarried president to stay single all his life.

In the entire history of the American presidency, there has only been one Commander-in-Chief who never married.

Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, never got married and served from 1857 to 1861.

The moderate Democrat Buchanan never married and had his niece serve as the hostess at the White House.

Buchanan became a bachelor under tragic, perplexing circumstances. When Buchanan was 28 years old, he got engaged to Anne Coleman, but he later called it off.

Less than a year later, Coleman passed away unexpectedly, and Buchanan remained single for the rest of his life. As for his First Lady, his niece, Harriet Lane, assumed the role of hostess.


Despite Buchanan’s overwhelmingly unpopularity as president, Lane was one of the most well-liked first women in pre-Civil War America.

However, Buchanan wasn’t the only president whose First Lady throughout his administration wasn’t his wife, nor was he the only bachelor to be elected to the office.

Martin Van Buren and Thomas Jefferson were two presidents who began office as widowers. Jefferson’s daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, and Van Buren’s daughter-in-law, Angelica Singleton Van Buren, acted as the primary White House hosts.

Before Andrew Jackson was sworn in as the seventh president, his wife passed away.


His late wife’s niece, Emily Donelson, volunteered to fill the position.

Grover Cleveland was the only president to hold office for two non-consecutive terms and the only bachelor to hold the office.

Despite being unmarried when he assumed office in 1885, Cleveland married while serving as president, with his new wife Frances Folsom taking over Cleveland’s sister Rose’s role as First Lady.

Buchanan’s early life

James Buchanan was born April 23, 1791, near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.; he died June 1, 1868, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Buchanan was the son of James Buchanan and Elizabeth Speer, both of Scottish Presbyterian descent from the north of Ireland.

His father had come to America in 1783 and had been employed as a storekeeper.

After graduating from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1809, Buchanan went on to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to pursue a career in law.

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After being admitted to the bar in 1812, he quickly built a prosperous legal practise. He entered politics because of his oratory talent.

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