Has There Ever Been a Single President?

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As of 2014, James Buchanan is the only President to be single while in office. The First Lady during his presidency was Harriet Lane, Buchanan’s niece. James Buchanan is also the only president who was born in the state of Pennsylvania.

Buchanan was once engaged to a woman named Anne Caroline Coleman. However, amidst rumors of infidelity, she broke off the engagement and died shortly thereafter. Reportedly, Buchanan never entered into another serious relationship. Rumors have circulated concerning possible asexuality or homosexuality, but nothing has been substantiated.

James Buchanan was President from 1857 to 1861, and in that time period, First Lady duties differed widely from modern times. Buchanan’s niece, Harriet Lane, was considered the hostess of the White House. Lane had actually been orphaned and Buchanan was her adoptive father.

Buchanan was President when the United States was on the brink of Civil War. He was not widely popular during his presidency, and his inability to deal with North and South tensions have sullied his presidential history. He is considered by some historians to be one of the worst presidents in history. Buchanan was a graduate of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and his home, Wheatland, is open for touring in Lancaster County.