Talk:James Buchanan

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William R. King[edit]

James Buchanan, Jr. is rated one of our worst presidents, if not the worst, because he avoided dealing with secession. Lincoln however is rated as our best president because he dealt with secession by prosecuting the most destructive war in our nation's history. The total casualties of this war, including human, economic, sectional, racial and cultural, to name but a few, are still being counted 150 years later. Buchanan tried his best to apply the rule of law as he saw fit without bloodshed. He did ultimately fail, but he should be given a higher rating for his attempt. Why are war presidents seen as great men while peace presidents are seen as ordinary or indecisive? That should tell you where the mentality of this nation is. Walter H. Ring 3rd

Buchanan did not work for peace. He did not do his best to apply the rule of law. he was pro-South until about jan 1 1861 then became anti-South, in both cases making the war more likely. Rjensen (talk) 03:31, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Could someone more familiar with the Buchanan/King relationship restore relevant passages and sources to the William R. King article? It seems to have been scrubbed by User:Catherinejarvis. Woodshed (talk) 06:43, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for alerting. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:00, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Do you not think any of the material such as the Jackson or Brown quotes, or parts of the Loewen or Watson analyses, belong in the King article? Woodshed (talk) 09:38, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely not. The speculation of people who did not know these men is not relevant. Loewen especially seems to be using historical figures to push an agenda of his own. I merely trimmed unsubstantiated gueshsing from the article. This is an encyclopedia, not a gossip column.Catherinejarvis (talk) 16:14, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Could you please avoid suggesting that gay history is merely all about idle "gossip". That's an incredibly insulting thing to say. Contaldo80 (talk)
  • If powerbrokers, let alone voters, knew that Buchanan was gay, his political ascent would have been controversial, to say the very least. In fact, it's hard to see how he could have been elected at all given the attitudes of the time. Andrew Jackson also called John Quincy Adams a pimp. Jackson was known for making outrageous accusations, not for his gaydar. If you leave aside the innuendo from Jackson and his Tennessee clique, the remaining evidence can best be described as "underwhelming." This blog post gives the argument in greater detail. The Clever Boy (talk) 04:12, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Underwhelming perhaps, but not beyond belief. We're just saying he might have been homosexual, not born on Mars. It's not that controversial surely?Contaldo80 (talk) 16:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
The blog cited above terminates Buchanan's letter at "... a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them", ironically mocking it as "scorching stuff", while omitting the remaining text, which contains: "... and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection". If including this text wouldn't damage the blog's argument, the blog wouldn't bother to exclude it. The simple effort to omit this text, then, indicates that it IS scorching stuff (with no ironic quote-marks). Also, the blog applies the incorrect standard ("proof"), and mocks using the absence of evidence contrary to a fact as evidence of the fact. But many Presidents are deemed heterosexual without "proof", on nothing more than having behaved like a stereotypical heterosexual male, absent the production of contrary evidence. So the presumptive designation of "homosexual, pending further evidence" should be alllowed to stand on symmetrically weak evidence. (talk) 07:37, 27 June 2014 (UTC)Christopher L. Simpson

Religion parameter in infoboxes[edit]

Calidum, per your edit summary "The RFC didn't give a blank check to remove this field", the close on the RFC was "Overwhelmingly clear consensus (36 "remove" to 12 "keep" and one "rename the parameter", if anyone cares about raw numbers) to remove the parameter from the infoboxes...". Ultimately it will be removed from the template itself, shutting it off in the article regardless of whether the parameter exists in the wikitext. Alsee (talk) 03:26, 19 September 2016 (UTC) Adding RFC link: WP:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_126#RfC:_Religion_in_biographical_infoboxes Alsee (talk) 03:39, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

  • The RfC has yet to be implicated to allow for continued use in certain articles (the part of the closer's comment you convienently left out). Given that Buchanan "united with the Presbyterian church" following his retirement from politics, it seems pretty important. Calidum ¤ 18:14, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Calidum, religion can be discussed in the body of any article where it is relevant. Consensus was to remove it from the infobox, except for cases such as clergy. Alsee (talk) 11:21, 25 September 2016 (UTC)


The pronunciation guide currently says "/ˈbʌkænən/, also /bjuːˈkænən/". To the best of my recollection, I have only ever heard /bju:ˈkænən/. The /ˈbʌkænən/ pronunciation is completely unfamiliar.

That doesn't mean that it's wrong, of course. A lot of pronunciations have changed since that time. For all I know, /ˈbʌkænən/ could be the way that he said it, or what most people called him at the time. But in that case I'd sort of expect the article to say something about it, and there's not a word. Can anyone find a source that discusses this? --Trovatore (talk) 19:49, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

As of 2016?[edit]

If we apply this approach consistently we could end up attaching "as of" comments to a whole pile of statements in his biography, and the biographies of other presidents and other important figures. For example, just briefly looking down the article, do we attach this to the statements that he is the only president to be a lifelong bachelor and to come from Pennsylvania? PatGallacher (talk) 14:50, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

I think "as of 2016" statements are useless and should be avoided. it's outdated in one month from now. If another president from Pennsylvania comes along the press will say "first Pa President since Buchanan" & we can immediately make an update. Rjensen (talk) 14:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
OK, fair enough. I just didn't think HRC's loss was a good reason to remove it. Maybe it was put there in the first place because of her? That wouldn't have been a very good reason either. --Trovatore (talk) 20:19, 1 December 2016 (UTC)