Bachelor President

Buchanan never married and never had any children. He was engaged to Anne Coleman, but she died before they were married.


Buchanan had a fight with his betrothed, Anne Coleman, in 1819. She called off the engagement. Later that year, she died suddenly. Although it can't be confirmed, some people believe that it was suicide. Author John Updike wrote a play in 1974 called Buchanan Dying where he takes a fictional look at what might have happened between the pair that resulted in her death.

Buchanan did have a ward who he sponsored and raised from childhood named Harriet Lane. She served the function of first lady while Buchanan was in office. She was an accomplished hostess and was well loved, which was especially difficult given the events that were occurring in the nation. She used tact and common sense to try to keep the peace at official functions. Lane did not marry until she was thirty-six and Buchanan was retired from the presidency.

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