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    James Buchanan Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 10", Washington City; August 20, 1845. Composed while Buchanan was Secretary of State in James K. Polk's administration. Addressed to John M. Read, a lawyer from Philadelphia who helped found the Republican Party and served as Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It reads in full: " Your favor of 16 th instant, covering a letter to Secretary Marcy, recommending Lieut. French for a post in the Quarter Master's Department, was duly received. I have this morning transmitted your letter to the Secretary of War accompanied by a note of my own, expressive of your strong claims to his favor, and of the high gratification a compliance with your wishes would afford me. Trusting that the application may prove successful," Signed, " James Buchanan."

    The fifteenth president of the United States and the last to be born in the 18th century, James Buchanan is the only president from Pennsylvania, and the only president never to marry. Despite a long and honorable career of public service, Buchanan's inability to avert the Civil War has been assessed by historians as the worst single failure by any president of the United States.

    Condition: Lightly age toned with two small stains. Somewhat brittle with minor chipping along edges with one large chip (extant) at the bottom left corner.

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