Visit with former president James Buchanan: Talk did not touch on matters of state
This drawing captures the scene of a Buchanan stop at York’s Railroad Station. That station is the predecessor of the current rail station, known for years as the home of Blattner’s photo studio. (To see a list of other visits by presidents or presidental candidates, click here.) Background posts: Giving York news, sports junkies their fix, Part II and In York County and beyond, presidential races have produced rages through the ages and Wheatland Mansion tour: ‘We don’t know if President Buchanan used the tub’.
James Buchanan’s Wheatland Home in Lancaster County meant that he was a frequent rail passenger through York County before, during and after his presidency.
His Democratic politics lined up with York County’s – he formerly represented the county in the U.S. Congress – and he would often stop to call on his allies.
He made such a visit the day after his presidential term ended on March 4, 1861, in the days before the onset of the Civil War.
According to a newspaper article written by historian George Prowell, a delegation of local political allies met him in Glen Rock and accompanied him to York. His train stopped at Market and Water streets where he proceeded to the home of Henry Welsh for a dinner attended by 50 guests.
That day marked the beginning of seven relatively quiet years for the former president at Wheatland. Dignitaries often visited, including delegations from York County. Prowell wrote about his visit with Buchanan in March 1868, in which the conversation did not touch on matters of state.
“His conversation was about a promise of an abundant crop of wheat, rye, oats and corn for that season,” Prowell wrote. At that time, Buchanan seemed in good health and humor.
A month later, Buchanan took sick, and two month later, he died.
For a numerous posts on other presidential stops in York County, click here.