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Diane L. Barnes

Hailing from Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, James Buchanan was the son of the storekeeper James Buchanan and Elizabeth Speer. Following a local school education, Buchanan read law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1812. Buchanan never married, instead concentrating his energies on his political career. He began in the Pennsylvania state legislature, serving a single term from 1814 to 1816, and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served five terms starting in 1821. Buchanan began his political career as a moderate Federalist, but by the early 1830s he was an ardent supporter of the seventh president, Andrew Jackson, and the newly forming Democratic Party. Jackson rewarded his loyalty by appointing him as minister to Russia in 1832. Upon his return to the United States in 1833 Buchanan was appointed by the Pennsylvania legislature to fill the U S Senate seat ...

Article

Diane L. Barnes

James Abram Garfield was born in a log cabin in Orange Township in northern Ohio's Western Reserve to the farmers Abram Garfield and Eliza Ballou. Following Abram Garfield's death in 1833 the family struggled in poverty, but James managed to gain an education, eventually succeeding as an educator and in politics.

At eighteen Garfield converted and began a lifelong following of the Disciples of Christ. He attended the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (Hiram College), then Williams College in Massachusetts, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1856. Garfield returned to Hiram as an educator, teaching ancient languages and serving as a lay minister, then in 1857 was appointed as president of the college. In 1858 he married Lucretia Rudolph with whom he had five sons and two daughters A strong personality and a clear oratory style led Garfield into politics beginning with his election to the Ohio senate ...