April 23, 1791 - June 1, 1868 State: Pennsylvania Religion: Presbyterian Marriage: None Military service: In the War of 1812, he volunteered for a special company of dragoons from Lancaster County that defended Baltimore from a British attack. Party: Democrat Term: March 4, 1857 - March 3, 1861 Vice President: John Cabell Breckinridge Highlights of presidency: As the last "antebellum" president, Buchanan's greatest challenge was to settle the Kansas controversy and stop the issue of slavery from dividing the nation. During his term, the Confederate States of America declared their independence. By the time Buchanan's term ended, Kansas was admitted as a free state, but seven states had seceded from the Union. Did you know? Buchanan was the first unmarried man to be elected president. His inauguration was the first to be photographed. He was the first president to send a trans-Atlantic telegram.