1820-1831: U.S. House of Representatives

James Buchanan represents Bowman in Bowman v. Königmacher.

      Mar. 3 - Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, with Maine to be admitted to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state, along with restrictions on the spread of slavery into new territories.
      Mar. 15 - Maine joins the Union as the 23rd state.
    June - James Buchanan becomes legal advisor to ironmaster Cyrus Jacobs.  
      July 15 - American explorer Edwin James becomes the first man to climb Pike’s Peak.
    Aug. 25 - James Buchanan is nominated by Lancaster, PA "Republican Federalists," or "Federal-Republicans," for the US House.  
    Oct. - James Buchanan is elected to the US House from a district composed of Lancaster, Dauphin, and Lebanon counties in PA.  
      Nov. 18 - American sailor Nathaniel B. Palmer, Captain of the sloop, Hero, discovers Antarctica.
1821   Jan. - James Buchanan defends several men charged with manslaughter.  
      Feb. 24 - Mexico declares its independence from Spain.
    May - James Buchanan successfully defends William Hamilton against charges that he murdered Ann Piersol.  
      May 31 - The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Baltimore, becomes the first Catholic cathedral in the US.
    June 11 - James Buchanan's father dies; Buchanan settles his father's estate.  
      Aug. 4 - Saturday Evening Post begins publication in New York.
      Aug. 10 - Missouri becomes the 24th state in the Union.
    Nov. - Representative Buchanan leaves Lancaster, PA for Washington, DC; takes up residence in quarters managed by Mrs. Peyton.  
    Dec. 3 - Representative Buchanan takes his seat in the US House.  
    Dec. 5 - Representative Buchanan is appointed to the Committee on Agriculture.  
    Dec. - Representative Buchanan delivers a speech in favor of the War Department Deficiency Bill.  
1822   Representative Buchanan arranges for the appointment of several Lancaster, PA residents to West Point.  
    Representative Buchanan introduces resolutions to expand the post-road system in his district.  
    Representative Buchanan votes for a bill that would allow tolls to be collected on the Cumberland Road.  
    Representative Buchanan reverses his view on tolls along the Cumberland Road, deciding that they should be collected by the states through which the road passes, rather than by the federal government.  
    William Speer Buchanan (brother of James Buchanan) graduates from Princeton.  
    Jan. 24 - Representative Buchanan is appointed chairman of a committee to inquire into fines imposed on militiamen in PA for delinquencies during the War of 1812.  
    Feb. 14 - Representative Buchanan is appointed to a committee to investigate the Post Office Department.  
      Mar. 8 - The US recognizes the independence of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru, and Mexico.
    Mar. 12 - Representative Buchanan votes against an amendment to the Bankruptcy Bill that would expand the law to include citizens other than merchants.  
    July 4 - Representative Buchanan is the guest of honor at a Federalist Fourth of July celebration in Lancaster, PA.  
    Aug. - Representative Buchanan is nominated by the Federalist Party for reelection to the US House.  
      Dec. 2 - President Monroe presents his Monroe Doctrine to Congress, proclaiming that the Americas are no longer open to European colonization and interference.
1823   Feb. - Representative Buchanan speaks in support of the Tariff Bill of 1823-4.
    Feb. 28 - Representative Buchanan votes for a resolution requesting the president to negotiate with the Maritime powers for the abolition of the slave trade.  
      Mar. 2 - Federal control of interstate commerce is established by the Supreme Court in the Gibbons v. Ogden steamboat case.
      Apr. 17 - The US and Russia sign a treaty giving the US the rights to all land along the Pacific coast below the 54th parallel.
    May 9 - Representative Buchanan urges John Sergeant not to run for governor in PA.  
    July - Representative Buchanan participates in several cases brought before a special session of the PA Supreme Court.  
    Dec. 2 - Representative Buchanan is appointed to the Judiciary Committee.  
    Dec. 15 - Representative Buchanan is appointed to the Select Committee of Seven regarding a constitutional amendment to make the election of US Representatives and electors uniform.  
1824   Representative Buchanan supports Andrew Jackson in the presidential election.  
    Jan. 15 - Representative Buchanan introduces a resolution regarding the erection of a monument to George Washington.  
    Mar. 23 - Representative Buchanan speaks in support of the Tariff Bill.  
    Apr. 9 - Representative Buchanan speaks in support of the Tariff Bill.  
    Apr. 16 - Representative Buchanan votes in favor of the Tariff Bill.  
      Jun. 17 - Congress establishes the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
      July 24 - The Harrisburg Pennsylvanian publishes the first public opinion poll in the US, showing Andrew Jackson in the lead for the presidency.
    Nov. - Representative Buchanan is reelected to the US House as a Federal-Republican.  

Dec. 30 - Representative Buchanan asks Andrew Jackson whether he ever stated that he would appoint John Quincy Adams secretary of state if Jackson won the presidential election.

1825   Sarah Buchanan Huston (sister of James Buchanan) dies; Representative Buchanan arranges for her daughter, Elizabeth Huston, to be raised by Thomas Kittera's family in Philadelphia.  
      Feb. 9 - After failing to receive an electoral majority in the presidential election of 1824, John Quincy Adams is chosen President by the House of Representatives.
      Feb. 12 - The Creek Indians cede all of their land in Georgia to the US.
      Mar. 7 - Joel. R. Poinsett becomes the first US Minister to Mexico.
      Mar. 24 - The new Mexican state of Texas-Coahuila authorizes American settlement of Texas.
      Aug. 10 - The Osage Indians cede their land in Kansas to the US.
      Oct. 26 - The Erie Canal opens, providing overland water transportation between the East Coast and the Great Lakes region.
1826   Representative Buchanan is reelected to the US House as a Federalist.
    Representative Buchanan speaks in support of a bill for the relief of officers of the Revolution.  
    George W. Buchanan (brother of James Buchanan) graduates from Dickinson College.
    Jan. 19 - Representative Buchanan votes against an amendment to the Judiciary System Bill that would have decreased the number of associate judges.  
      Jan. 24 - The US signs the Treaty of Washington with the Creek Indians, granting the Indians the right to stay on their land for two years.
      Feb. 13 - The American Society for the Promotion of Temperance, in Boston, becomes the first society in the US to oppose the consumption of alcohol.
      Apr. 1 - Samuel Mory of Orford, New Hampshire, is awarded a patent for the two-cylinder engine.
    Apr. 11 - Representative Buchanan opposes the Panama Mission; however, he argues that the US House is obligated to make appropriations for this Senate-approved mission.  
      July 4 - John Adams, 2nd President of the US, and Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the US, both die on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of the Independence .
      Oct. 7 - A three-mile stretch of track between Quincy, Massachusetts, and the Neponset River becomes the first railroad to be completed in the US.
      Nov. 27 - American explorer Jedediah Smith arrives in San Diego to become the first man to cross the Mohave Desert en route to California.
    Dec. - Representative Buchanan begins his fight to organize a new Democratic Party in PA, known as the Amalgamation movement.  
1827   Representative Buchanan and six other PA Representatives vote against The Woolens Bill, earning them the label "The Seven Traitors of Pennsylvania."  
      Feb. 2 - The Supreme Court rules that the President has the final authority to call out the militia.
      Feb. 7 - The Deserter opens at the Bowery Theater in New York , becoming the first ballet in the US.
      Feb. 27 - First Mardi Gras festival is held in New Orleans.  
      Feb. 28 - The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad becomes the first US railway chartered for commercial transportation of freight and passengers.
      Mar. 16 - Freedom’s Journal, the first newspaper for African-Americans, begins publication.
    June 23 - Representative Buchanan writes a letter to the Lancaster Weekly Journal, reminding readers of Andrew Jackson's vote for the Tariff of 1824, in an attempt to boost Jackson's popularity in PA.  
    July 12 - Representative Buchanan denies charges made by Andrew Jackson that Buchanan played a part in the "bargain and sale" controversy of 1824.  
      Aug. 6 - The US and England sign a treaty extending joint occupation of the Oregon Territory.
    Aug. 8 - Representative Buchanan prints his account of his December 1824 conversation with Andrew Jackson in the Lancaster Journal.  
      Aug. 10 - Race riots erupt in Cincinnati.
    Aug. 17 - Representative Buchanan writes that he will never support John Quincy Adams; he also refuses to take responsibility for any damage done to Andrew Jackson's bid for the presidency as a result of the "bargain and sale" controversy.  
      Nov. 15 - The Creek Indians cede their remaining land in the southeast to the US.
    Dec. 19 - William Speer Buchanan (brother of James Buchanan) dies in Chambersburg, PA.  
1828   Representative Buchanan supports Andrew Jackson in the presidential election.  
    Representative Buchanan supports additional appropriations
requested by the administration of John Quincy Adams to conduct surveys in preparation for "internal improvements."
    George W. Buchanan (brother of Buchanan) is admitted to the bar in Pittsburgh.  
      Jan. 12 - The US and Mexico agree to a common boundary along the Sabine River.
    Feb. 1 - Representative Buchanan argues against Thomas Chilton's retrenchment resolutions.  
    Feb. 4 - Representative Buchanan opens his fifth campaign for the US House with a speech attacking John Quincy Adams.  
    Apr. 2 - Representative Buchanan gives a speech on the Tariff Bill and "The American System."  
      Apr. 21 - Noah Webster publishes his American Dictionary of the English Language, containing over 70,000 definitions.
    May 27 - Representative Buchanan runs for office for the first time as a Democrat, after the Federalists and Republicans in Lancaster, PA unite as a single Democratic Party.  
    July 4 - Representative Buchanan attends political meetings at Yellow Springs, Downingtown, and Lancaster, PA.  
    Aug. 19 - Representative Buchanan denies charges that he allegedly said Mrs. John Quincy Adams was born out of wedlock.  
    Oct. - Representative Buchanan is reelected to the US House as a Democrat.  
    Oct. - Representative Buchanan is given credit for Andrew Jackson's victory in PA during the presidential election.  

Jan. 29 - Representative Buchanan gives a speech arguing that state governments, not federal, should collect tolls on the Cumberland Road.

      Mar. 2 - The New England Asylum for the Blind in Boston becomes the first school for the blind in the US.
      Mar. 4 - In celebration of his 1829 inauguration, President Andrew Jackson invites the American public to the White House.
    Mar. 11 - Representative Buchanan urges members of PA's Democratic Party to support George Wolf for governor, rather than risk splitting the party.  
    June - Representative Buchanan's support of Andrew Jackson begins to fade, due to Jackson's failure to distribute patronage among Buchanan's supporters.  

June 27 - English scientist James Smithson dies, leaving an endowment "to found at Washington, D.C., under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."

      July 29 - The Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians cede their land in the Michigan Territory to the US.

Aug. - Representative Buchanan begins a series of speeches supporting George Wolf for governor in PA.

      Aug. 25 - Mexico refuses an offer from President Jackson for the purchase of Texas.
    Nov. - Representative Buchanan and other PA Democrats gather at the Lancaster, PA Courthouse to celebrate George Wolf's victory; instead, an altercation takes place between two factions within the party.  
    Dec. - Representative Buchanan becomes chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  
1830   Representative Buchanan speaks in favor of a bill to increase the number of Supreme Court justices to nine and to expand the circuit court system to include Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama and Missouri.  
    Representative Buchanan announces that he will retire from politics.  
    Representative Buchanan develops hopes that George Wolf will appoint him to fill a vacancy on the PA Supreme Court.  
    Mar. 23 - Representative Buchanan reports the Judiciary Committee's decision to recommend the impeachment of Judge James Peck, district judge for Missouri; Buchanan serves as chief manager of the prosecution.  
      Mar. 26 - The Book of Mormon is published.
      Apr. 6 - Mexico forbids further colonization by Americans in Texas.
      Apr. 6 - Joseph Smith founds the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, in Fayette, New York.
      Apr. 10 - The first wagon train to travel the Oregon Trail leaves from St. Louis.
      May 28 - President Jackson signs the Removal Act, calling for all Indians to be resettled west of the Mississippi River.
    June 19 - Representative Buchanan is invited to a dinner hosted by anti-George Wolf Democrats in Philadelphia.  
      July 15 - The Sauk and Fox Indians cede their land in Wisconsin and Illinois to the US.
    Nov. 4 - George W. Buchanan (brother of James Buchanan) is appointed district attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania by Andrew Jackson.  
1831   Representative Buchanan supports the renomination of Andrew Jackson, as relations between Jackson and Buchanan's rivals worsen.  
      Jan. 1 - William Lloyd Garrison of Boston begins publication of The Liberator; the leading abolitionist journal in the US.
    Jan. 24 - Representative Buchanan presents the minority report opposing a proposal by the Judiciary Committee to abrogate Section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1789.  
    Jan. 28 - Representative Buchanan reports to the US Senate the US House's argument for the impeachment of Judge James Peck.  
    Feb. - Representative Buchanan's supporters form a movement in PA to select Buchanan as vice presidential candidate in the next presidential election.  
    Mar. - Representative Buchanan is nominated for vice president at a meeting in Lancaster, PA.  
      Mar. 19 - During the first bank robbery in the US, $245,000 is stolen from City Bank in New York.
    Representative Buchanan's supporters in the PA Democratic Party advocate his appointment to the Department of the Treasury or to the position of US attorney general.  
    May 31 - James Buchanan is invited confidentially to serve as minister to Russia.  
    June 12 - James Buchanan accepts the position of minister to Russia; he spends much of the year learning French and studying trade problems with Russia.  
      July 4 - James Monroe, 5th President of the US, dies in New York.
      July 4 - The song “ America ” is sung for the first time, at a church in Boston.
    Aug. - James Buchanan travels to New York, under cover of illness, to gather information regarding the relationship between American trade and the Baltic and Black Seas.
      Aug. 21 - Nat Turner, a slave in Virginia, kills his master and leads a slave insurrection.
    Oct. 21 - James Buchanan's mother asks him not to accept the mission to Russia.  
      Nov. 11 - Virginia slave Nat Turner, is hanged for killing his master and leading a slave uprising.
    Dec. 13 - James Buchanan collaborates with Henry Muhlenberg to support the election of George Dallas for US Senator and to prevent the election of an anti-Mason or pro-Adams candidate.  
      Dec. 25 - Louisiana and Arkansas become the first two states to celebrate Christmas as a legal holiday.