Wednesday, August 1, 2012

James Buchanan, number 15!

Washington had his Mt. Vernon, Jefferson his Monticello and our fifteenth President James Buchanan his beloved Wheatland.  Wheatland is here in Lancaster, PA, and two blocks from ‘Haven’, the home of our good Friends Dan & Joan. I named their home just now, because they really do have a home. A safe sanctuary of family love, for their kids, who come often.
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Dan was gracious and made reservations for us at Wheatland, where we had a guided tour of the home and surroundings. The guide was surprised and happy to have their neighbors come to tour after many years of living up the street.
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If you are familiar with Mr. Buchanan, history does not treat him well. He was the last president who agreed that slavery was a state’s constitutional right. He himself abhorred slavery, never owned a slave but was a constitutionalist and as president felt personally obligated to follow the constitution.
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If you want to know a person’s good points, talk to his family or fans. All the folks at Wheatland are volunteers because they love and respect Mr. Buchanan, as it should be. WE got to know the other side of History.
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These are actually wooden blinds from the 1800’s, you see a very intricate design hand carved into the wooden valance.
Okay, so you poor folk who actually saw and used up to a two holer, here is the rich guys ‘5 holer’, and the first I have ever seen with the kids seats. A new meaning of, ‘The family who goes together stays together!’
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I made up the above statement, actually Mr. Buchanan was the only president who never married. He was engaged once, the lady died and he remained single.
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Above is a painting of the President Buchanan.
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The hand drawn picture on the left was used to restore the home. There had been a hand drawn picture of each room. Below is his Top hat.
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Above on the left was a wedding present for his Niece, Harriet Lane. He adopted her and a cousin, Buck Henry, after the deaths of their parents. So Harriet was his daughter as well as his niece.
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A picture of Harriet in her later years, Her life being very unique, she was the first person called ‘The First Lady’, as she served James as his social advisor and director when he was president. Our guide said she was the Jackie Kennedy of her time, a fashion model for the ladies who liked the latest.
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Above left is a bath tub, and beside it a ‘Potty Chair’. (Yeah I know I am obsessed with these things.
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The bed he slept and died in, at Wheatland.
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According to our guide, Mr. Buchanan was the most experienced president we ever had. Having filled the office of Sec State, Ambassadors, Senator, Rep etc. The desks above where labored to write ream after  ream of paper to explain his presidency that most seemed not to understand. They say he was blamed for the civil war, I always gave Abe that position.
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Our gracious hostess, I could not get over the thought that Mrs. Pelosi was giving the lectures.
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The ‘mouse trap’, caught them alive, they were released outside to be caught the next day (according to our guide).
I apologize for the photos, because like most museums (etc) NO FLASH pictures allowed. The house is unique, as it looks the same from the front as the rear. I love OLD WOOD, knowing that the wood was nearly 200 years old, gives a carpenter a good feeling.
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This wood  floor was not covered with carpet. Love the square nails.
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Love these old beams in the smoke house.
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Everyone gave Heddy Parker, his lifelong house keeper, VERY MUCH CREDIT for running his every day life before and after Harriet Lane.
One day I will try to sit down and list the presidents homes we have visited, they have all been interesting. VERY FEW of our leaders have been poor folk.
From Lancaster, Pennsylvania. James was not born here, but this became his home. After being here I have more respect for him. I think, as with all presidents, he was a very good man in a tough job. President of the USA 1857-1861.
Sorry about the length, but I did not want to make two entries. He is remembered for his Last words as president. Spoken to Abe just before Abe was inaugurated.
“Sir, if you are as happy entering this office, as I am leaving it, YOU SIR, ARE ONE HAPPY MAN.”
Thanks for coming by the log.
Nite Shipslog
'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'  Maya Angelou
Now resting at the Henry Ford…….
jfkPresidential Limo the Lancer
The most famous Presidential Vehicle, JFK’s Lincoln (fixed that, lol) quiet a change from Buchanan’s transportation:
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I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Thanks for the tour today. I sure learned a lot I didn't know before. I think all our presidents are to be applauded for their courage to lead our country. I do pray for the current one every day. It's a tough job and I think they need all the help they can get. Your friends home does look like a haven. Very aptly named I think.
Hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one!

Louis la Vache said...

You wrote that Buchanan "but was a constitutionalist and as president felt personally obligated to follow the constitution." Quite the contrast to the occupant of the Oval Office now...

Dar said...

I finally got to read your past entries that I missed. I agree, no one is going to sway the minds of others by swinging signs of protest. Our opinions are personal and should remain so, well, to a degree. I guess I always have felt that, if you do not vote, you have no matter what. Nuff Said on that

Now, the walking the trails of Pennsylvania, mercy. I would be the first one to turn an ankle and wreck my back worse than it is. You two are amazing, just trying this is astounding. but, then you two also have kept in shape. I am so happy you can see the country in real life and I wish I could do the same.
Now, Sherry and Mark on the 55 Chevy is priceless. How I wish that car was mine....I'll give them $501....lo
And that corn,mmmmmmmmmmm nuff said
And now today, the visit to the Buchanan home was fascinating. Through you, I am better educated and reminded...
we do still use an outhouse at the cabin...we can't have everything!

Paula said...

Thanks for the History lesson. Love the tiny holes for tiny hinnys. I haven't been a lot of places but I have been to Mount Vernon and I really enjoyed it.

shirl72 said...

The blog is very educational.
That is a beautiful home and you
got some real good pictures.

Read a lot I didn't know about this


Chatty Crone said...

I just loved all that information - I didn't know any of that - except he was one of the presidents.

How interesting that all was. I love it even the stories of all the potties.

Never married, adopted his niece, and glad to leave the Presidency!!!

Thanks for sharing.


Glenda said...

Awesome, almost feel like I was there, great photos & commentary,
maybe you should write 'travel' Frommer's.


I thoroughly enjoyed this pictorial. As many times as I have been in Lancaster I have NEVER been to Wheatland.

Anonymous said...