Buchanan, James, 1927, Biographical Sketch
FOLLOWING FORTY years in the legislative, executive and diplomatic service, and twenty years of unsuccessful effort to gain the Presidency, James Buchanan, son of a Pennsylvania storekeeper, and the only President to die a bachelor, came into office in 1857 with the country seething with the sectional strife of the slavery question. Chosen because Pennsylvania was in very truth as in name the Keystone State of the election, Buchanan proved an irresolute captain of State, and at once surrendered the wheel to the most extreme faction in the South. Other than the total futility of Buchanan's administration, his term is memorable only for the fact that it was during his Presidency that the first flash of the submarine telegraphic cable was received in the form of a greeting from Queen Victoria. Buchanan was so skeptical of it that he hesitated to reply. Soon afterward the cable broke, and as not another message came under the sea for eight years, the skeptics felt justified in their ridicule of the undertaking.
1. Brief Biographies of our Presidents and the First Ladies of the Land, 1927, American Weekly, Inc., page 16.
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