People often nickname James Buchanan as the "worst US president ever", and blame him for not stopping the Civil War. When Buchanan left the presidency to Abraham Lincoln in 1861, he left Washington with his reputation at rock bottom. Buchanan could no longer live a normal life as he was so despised by the public he spent much of his days holed up at his home in Pennsylvania.
Buchanan was born in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, in 1791, but aged 18 settled in Lancaster, where the city still takes great pride in his achievements.
Many people claim Buchanan caused America and the Democratic Party to fall apart. People also criticise Buchanan over his attitude to slavery. He supported a Supreme Court decision that denied that African-Americans were citizens, and he backed the admittance of Kansas to the Union with a pro-slavery constitution, to the disgust of many Democratic colleagues. However many people argue that Andrew Johnson, who followed Lincoln, was a worse president than Buchanan, because he squandered the opportunity to take the country forward after the war.