President Buchanan Bought Slaves With His Own Money – And He Had A Secret Plan In Store For Them

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Image: Mathew Brady / John Wood

In 19th-century Pennsylvania, future president James Buchanan is gearing up for a place in the Senate. But hundreds of miles away in Virginia, a dark family secret threatens to derail his career. As a solution, Buchanan frees his sister’s slaves – but does he really have their best interests at heart?

Image: Montesbradley

Out of all the times to embark on a political career in America, Buchanan chose one of the worst. Born on April 23, 1791, in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, he grew up during a time when tensions across the country were fraught. And by the time that he became president, the United States was on the brink of civil war.

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Image: George N. Barnard

Today, Buchanan is remembered as a poor president, a man whose inability to make strong decisions contributed to the bloody conflict. But according to legend, he also had a softer side. In fact, it’s said by some that he made a habit of purchasing slaves – only to grant them their freedom at a later date.

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