James Buchanan - Biography. 15th president of the United States Birth April 23, 1791 Death June 1, 1868 Home State Pennsylvania Party Democrat Term In Office 1857-1861 Vice President John Cabell Breckinridge Significant Acts Supported the Lecompton Constitution, which would have admitted Kansas to the Union as a proslavery state, in 1857. Sent supplies by ship to federal troops at Fort Sumter in 1861, but Confederate fire prevented them from landing. Career 1814 Fought in the War of 1812. 1821-1831 Represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives. 1832-1833 Served as minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. 1834-1845 Represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate. 1845-1849 Served as secretary of state under President James K. Polk. 1853-1856 Served as minister to Great Britain under President Franklin Pierce. 1857-1861 President of the United States. Did You Know Buchanan, a large robust man, reportedly took great pride in his tiny feet. James Buchanan was the first unmarried man to be elected president. By the time Buchanan's presidential term ended, seven states had seceded from the Union. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.