James M. Buchanan (diplomat)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James Madison Buchanan, Baltimore jurist and diplomat

James M. Buchanan (May 1803 – August 23, 1876) was a Baltimore, Maryland jurist and diplomat.


James Madison Buchanan was born in Pikesville, Maryland in May 1803.[1] (Some sources indicate 1802.) He attended Baltimore College and St. Mary's College of Baltimore, studied law with Hugh Davey Evans and Walter Dorsey, and became an attorney in Baltimore.[2]

A Democratic-Republican, Buchanan served in the Maryland House of Delegates in 1826 & 1829.[3] Later a Democrat, he campaigned for Andrew Jackson for President in 1824 and 1828, and attended numerous local and state party conventions as a Delegate.[4] In the 1830s he joined the militia as an aide-de-camp to the Commander of the Baltimore City Guards.[5] Buchanan became a Whig in the 1830s, but later returned to the Democratic party.[6]

Buchanan served as Baltimore's Postmaster during the administration of James K. Polk,[7] and he was President of Maryland's 1850-1851 constitutional convention.[8] In 1852 he was appointed as one of Maryland's Commissioners for resolving the state's boundary with Pennsylvania, and in 1855 he was appointed a Judge on Maryland's Circuit Court.[9]

In 1856 Buchanan was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and supported James Buchanan for President.[10] In 1858 President Buchanan nominated James M. Buchanan as Minister to Denmark, and he served until 1861.[11]

After spending time touring Europe, Buchanan returned to Baltimore and practiced law until his death.[12]

He died in Baltimore on August 23, 1876,[13] and was buried in Baltimore's Green Mount Cemetery.[14] (Some sources indicate that he died in Berkeley, West Virginia.)


  1. ^ James T. White & Company, The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume VII, 1897, page 536
  2. ^ Richardson & Bennett, Baltimore: Past and Present, 1871, page 212
  3. ^ John Thomas Scharf, History of Baltimore City and County, 1881, page 819
  4. ^ H. Niles & Son, Niles' Weekly Register, Volumes 35-36, March 25, 1829
  5. ^ Richardson & Bennett, Baltimore: Past and Present, 1871, page 213
  6. ^ H. Niles & Sons, Niles' Weekly Register: The Grand Whig Festival, November 21, 1835, page 197
  7. ^ U.S. Postal Service, A Brief History of the Baltimore Post Office from 1753 to 1930, 1930, page 19
  8. ^ Maryland Constitutional Convention, Proceedings, 1851, page 406
  9. ^ George Sanger, The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1857, 1856, page 283
  10. ^ Democratic National Convention, Official Proceedings, 1856, page 14
  11. ^ Jesse Frederick Essary, Maryland in National Politics, 1915, page 300
  12. ^ Richardson & Bennett, Baltimore: Past and Present, 1871, page 216
  13. ^ James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, editors, Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 7, 1901, page 39
  14. ^ Political Graveyard, Cemeteries and Memorial Sites of Politicians in Baltimore City, accessed July 22, 2013
Preceded by
Henry Bedinger
United States Ambassador to Denmark
Succeeded by
Bradford R. Wood