James Buchanan was the only Pennsylvanian to be elected President of the United States.
Buchanan was born in a log cabin in the village of Cove Gap near Mercersburg and grew up in the town. His log cabin still stands today on the Mercersburg Academy Campus near the athletics building.
Mercersburg is a borough in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 73 miles (117 km) southwest of Harrisburg. Originally called Black Town, it was incorporated in 1831. In 1900, 956 people lived here, and in 1910, 1,410 people lived here. The population was 1,540 at the 2000 census.
Harriet Lane (1830–1903), niece of James Buchanan, was born at Mercersburg in the Lane House. It was built in 1828, and is a 2 1/2-story, five bay, brick dwelling in the Federal-style. It was the birthplace of Harriet Lane (1830-1903), who served as hostess at the White House for her uncle James Buchanan from 1857 to 1861. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It is located in the Mercersburg Historic District.
Academy Award–winning actors Jimmy Stewart and Benicio del Toro both attended Mercersburg Academy, as well as John Hamilton, who played Perry White on Adventures of Superman TV series, and Vanessa Branch, the actress best known for Orbit Gum commercials.
The Buchanan Hotel is a hotel located in downtown Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, on North Main Street. It was the boyhood home of the fifteenth President of the United States, James Buchanan, Jr. and was built by James Buchanan, Sr. in 1796. Buchanan built it as a two story brick residence and the third story was added in the late nineteenth century. It is part of the Mercersburg Historic District, which was listed by the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
William R. King was U.S. Senator from Alabama and Vice President of the U.S. under Franklin Pierce. Believed to be the lover of President James Buchanan, King was referred to as “Miss Nancy” by President Andrew Jackson. However, another contemporary, referred to King as “Aunt Fancy” and also called him Buchanan’s “better half”. King and Buchanan shared an house in Washington, D.C., for 15 years during their Congressional tenures.
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