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?
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.
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.