Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    James Buchanan's acting First Lady

    Harriet Lane Johnston Autograph Letter Signed. Three pages, on black-bordered mourning stationery, approximately 4.25"x 6.75", "Park Avenue", May 11, 1886. Bachelor President James Buchanan enlisted his niece Harriet Lane Johnston to act as the First Lady (1857-1861). Years later, she answers a request from an author regarding a likeness of her uncle: "It will give me great pleasure to aid you, in any way in my power, to get a presentable likeness of my dear Uncle for your book. I have a very good bust, in marble, of Mr. Buchanan & I will have it photographed for you if it can be successfully done. I have also a bust portrait of Mr. Buchanan when Secretary of State, which I will send you when the photograph is finished. I expect to be in New York, in the next two weeks, & can then perhaps better understand, by a personal interview, what are your wishes & views about the portrait. Believe me, Yours very sincerely, Harriet Lane Johnston." Lightly toned and very boldly penned. Accompanied by two 3.5" x 5.5" postcard reproductions of Harriet Lane Johnston and James Buchanan.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 558

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 March 29 Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $933,431