James Buchanan


Which states seceded from the Union before Buchanan left office?

A few weeks after Abraham Lincoln was elected—but while Buchanan was still in office—South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana seceded from the Union in January 1861. Texas seceded on February 1, 1861. The four other states that seceded—Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee—did so after Lincoln was sworn into office.

Buchanan was blamed for failing to act effectively in preventing war. Upon his death in 1868, an obituary in the New York Times read: “he met the crisis of secession in a timid and vacillating spirit, temporizing with both parties, and studiously avoiding the adoption of a decided policy.”


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Presidents Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App