James Buchanan papers

This collection spans the entirety of Buchanan's legal, political, and diplomatic career, including his service as Pennsylvania assemblyman, U.S. congressman, minister to Russia, U.S. senator, secretary of state, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, and president o...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Buchanan, James 1791-1868. (Creator)
Collection:James Buchanan Papers
Collection Number:0091
Format: Manuscript
Language:English
Subjects and Genres:
Online Access:Link to finding aid
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Item Description: Processing Information: This collection was microfilmed in 1974 based on an earlier series arrangement. In 2010, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania revisited the intellectual arrangment of the collection. We primarily left the physical arrangement as is to protect the accuracy of the microfilm guide, but occasional correspondence and miscellaneous papers have been moved to correct chronological filing errors.
Physical Description: 35.0 Linear feet 74 boxes, 25 volumes
Access: This collection is open for research.
Summary: This collection spans the entirety of Buchanan's legal, political, and diplomatic career, including his service as Pennsylvania assemblyman, U.S. congressman, minister to Russia, U.S. senator, secretary of state, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, and president of the United States. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, but the collection also contains speeches, notes, manuscript drafts, business papers, legal papers, pamphlets, books, newspaper clippings, broadsides and scrapbooks. The correspondence in Series I consists primarily of incoming correspondence, with a smaller amount of outgoing and third-party correspondence and indices for each. Series II consists of Buchanan's speeches, memoranda, and notes. Series III contains drafts and manuscripts of Buchanan's autobiography and others' biographies. Series IV consists of a wide variety of printed material, including pamphlets, newspaper clippings, broadsides, and books. Series V contains Buchanan's assorted personal business papers, including deeds, contracts, promissory notes, receipts, checks, accounts, and letters pertaining exclusively to business matters. Series VI contains legal papers, 1811-1832, from Buchanan's legal practice. Series VII is a highly miscellaneous group, including a survey of Buchanan-related materials in the Library of Congress. Most series are arranged chronologically, though Series II (Speeches, memoranda, notes) is arranged topically. Volumes are arranged by size. This collection was microfilmed in 1974 based on an earlier series arrangement, and most folders are marked with microfilm reel numbers that correspond to the published microfilm guide. A small amount of unmicrofilmed material can be found at the end of Series I (Correspondence) and in Series IV (Printed material).
The James Buchanan papers span the entirety of Buchanan's legal, political and diplomatic career, including his service as Pennsylvania assemblyman, U.S. representative, minister to Russia, U.S. senator, secretary of state, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, and president of the United States. The collection consists primarily of correspondence, but also includes speeches, notes, business papers, legal papers, manuscript drafts, pamphlets, books, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks. The most significant groups of materials in this collection are related to Buchanan's time as secretary of state, 1845-1849; minister to Great Britain, 1854-1856; and the growing differences between the North and South before the Civil War, 1857-1861.