Skip to main content

Get Started


  • Share


When James Buchanan was elected President of the United States in 1856, he inherited a nation deeply divided by the fundamental issues of slavery and states' rights. Historians and political scientists have long debated whether or not the Confederate secession could have been avoided if Buchanan had not been a classical political thinker.

The James Buchanan Papers offers a comprehensive research collection for the study of this and other issues. Since Buchanan's life spanned the federal era of United States history, from Washington's first term until the Civil War, researchers can also study the entire early history of our country through the perspective of one of its presidents.

Buchanan's triumphs as well as his alleged failings can be viewed in these documents. Included in the material are:


  • incoming correspondence
  • outgoing correspondence, speeches, notes, and memoranda
  • third-party correspondence and miscellaneous papers
  • drafts and manuscript books by Buchanan and his biographers
  • printed material
  • business papers
  • legal papers and indexes

While slavery raised the bitterest emotions during Buchanan's term as president, he also faced other volatile issues such as the question of a protective tariff, free land in the West, and the distribution of federal funds. This important collection offers students of history, political science, political history, diplomacy, and international affairs ample opportunity to study in depth both the man's philosophy and the times during which he lived.

Support & Training

ProQuest offers best-in-class customer service, technical support, and training so you can hit the ground running with your ProQuest products and leverage everything they can do.

Access Support Center

Related Products


A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century

Eight-volume English edition reprinted in two volumes; two very scarce volumes of the German edition, which were not translated into English, reprinted in a separately available third volume.

Learn More


A Concordance to the Poems of Dylan Thomas

Romantic. Affirmative. Rhetorical. The poetry of Dylan Thomas urged readers to ponder life as they never had before. Researchers now have access to a concordance and word list keyed to the 1978 printing of Dylan Thomas: The Poems, edited by Daniel Jones.

Learn More


A People at War

Letters, diaries, memoirs, and other personal papers from the Civil War holdings of the Library of Congress. Edited by John R. Sellers.

Learn More


Lessons from the Chifley Library Flood

How an Australian library is rebuilding after losing an entire floor in an unprecedented natural disaster.

Learn More

On Her 100th Birthday, a Holocaust Survivor Looks Back

Honoring victims of Nazism and exploring learning opportunities on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Learn More