“The Life and Public Services of James Buchanan.” National Era 10 (August 14, 1856): 13.

 
THE LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES OF JAMES BUCHANAN
 
This is an electioneering document of 428 pages, neatly printed and bound. It of course presents such portions of Mr. Buchanan’s political history as was believed to be in harmony with his present position, as the candidate of the Slavery-extending party for the Presidency. Only the faintest reference is made to his Federalism, though the fact is admitted and extenuated. No extracts are made from the 4th of July oration of 1815, in which he denounces the Democratic party of that day, and the Administration of Mr. Madison, as corrupt. Nothing is said of Mr. Buchanan’s efforts to prevent the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave State, and of his hearty opposition to Slavery and Slavery-extension in the beginning of his political career. This part of his political life is passed over in silence – the author doubtless regarding it as the fruit of youthful indiscretion; and the offender having sincerely repented and reformed, it would of course be unkind and indelicate to allude to it. On the contrary, conspicuous place is given to his efforts in behalf of Slavery-extension, and particularly to the Ostend Conference, of which Mr. Buchanan was the head; and the Ostend Manifesto, in which war is threatened against Spain, unless she will sell Cuba to the United States as the only means of preventing emancipation.

Mr. Buchanan has no element of popularity in his character, and the events of his life are barren of interest. The sham Democracy will have a dull time of it in wading through a garbled compilation of “stale and unprofitable” demagoguical speeches. We are sorry for them. We advise them to throw it aside, and take up in its place any one of the stirring Lives of Fremont which may fall in their way. They will find in them the eventful career of a real man, whose heroic deeds in peace and war have added alike new domains to the republic of letters, and a new empire to his country’s sway.