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ing his own home. Under such circumstances, we ought neither to count the cost nor regard the odds which Spain might enlist against us."

This was too much for President Pierce and Cuba was to rest in statu quo for some years, torn and tortured by absolutism and rebellion. It was well that it should be so. The United States had first to settle her own sectional difficulties before beginning her imperial career. Had she taken over Cuba in 1854 she would very probably have been plunged into a long and cruel war on that island. It was best that Spain should continue to torture poor Cuba till the world was forced to recognize the justice of American interference, and till the United States had reached that high state of civilization that makes her the most worthy of all the nations to take up " the white man's burden."

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While Pierce held office he had to deal with several other questions of importance. A reciprocity treaty with Canada was signed by Lord Elgin and William L. Marcy, June 5, 1854, which "provided for a free exchange of the products of the sea, the fields, the forests and the mine. It admitted Americans to the rich Canadian fisheries and to the advantages of Canadian river and canal navigation. Its provisions were to remain in force for ten years, after which either party to the agreement was left free to end it by giving one year's notice." Japan that mysterious little kingdom in the Eastern seas opened her doors to American trade during the same term and began the career that was to make her the one Eastern nation to win the respect of the great Powers, and, indeed, in time to take her place among them.

It will be noted how important this presidential

term was. It paved the way for the Civil war, it brought prominently before the world the Monroe Doctrine and the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, it directed the eyes of the nation towards Cuba, it established a treaty with Canada which tended towards the commercial union of the continent, it encouraged transatlantic traffic,-and in every situation Franklin Pierce proved himself firm and wise, save in the matter of the Kansas-Nebraska trouble.

He had taken his stand in every case on the Constitution, and as a result had made many bitter enemies in the North and had lost much of his hold on the South. At the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, June 2, 1856, although he had many supporters it soon became evident that his party did not think him capable of carrying the country and after spirited balloting between James Buchanan, who had been abroad during the Kansas-Nebraska struggle, and Stephen A. Douglas, who had fathered the obnoxious Kansas-Nebraska Bill, Buchanan was, on the seventeenth ballot, on the fifth day of the Convention, unanimously declared the nominee of the Demo


When his term of office closed ex-President Pierce retired to his Concord home. Many of the men who had sworn by him when he went as President to Washington, now turned from him with intense hatred, but he kept on his way "unshaked of motion" warning the nation of the maelström of war into which it was drifting and still blaming the Abolitionists for causing the bitter strife.

When at length the Southern States began to secede, and when the voice of war was heard in the land the noble, patriotic nature of the man made itself evident to all. He was a Unionist, and to the

citizens of New Hampshire he delivered a speech for the Union and against secession with all his old time vigour. He had favored the South until this crisis was reached, but now that the Southerners had drawn the sword and threatened to sever the nation in twain he would prove his consistency by standing by the Union. He lived long enough to see the Union triumph and his country rising from the horrors of civil strife to begin again her great career of commercial prosperity, without a parallel in the history of the world. His declining years were happy and peaceful and when he died on October 8, 1869, he was genuinely mourned by a host of admiring friends. And he was worthy of their love. He had sustained defeats, the loss of friends, the loss of his children, the death of his wife with a calmness which showed a well poised character and a life with a lofty ideal and lofty hopes.




JAMES BUCHANAN was in many ways like his immediate predecessor in the Presidency, Franklin Pierce. He was a man of fine manners, of noble appearance, a professed lover of the Constitution and the Union; but a believer in what the pro-slavery party claimed to be their rights, a more thorough believer than Pierce, and such a man was the worst possible, as events proved, to be at the head of affairs at the critical time when Kansas was in a state of turmoil and the difficulties there were hurrying the nation into civil strife.

Scarcely had the great war of the Revolution been definitely brought to a close by the signing of the Treaty of Paris by David Hartley for Great Britain and by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay for the United States than the eyes of the struggling toilers on the European side of the Atlantic were turned across the stormy ocean; and, despite the terrors of the long voyage, thousands made preparations to leave the hard conditions under which they toiled in the old world to seek homes for themselves in the wildernesses of the new.

Among the first of the immigrants to come to the

United States after the Revolutionary war was James Buchanan, the father of the fifteenth President of the United States, a sturdy young ScotchIrish farmer from the County of Donegal. With regard to this man and his wife an excellent account has been left the world in an autobiographical sketch by their illustrious son, which is as much a revelation of the character of President Buchanan as of his parents.


"My father, James Buchanan," he writes, a native of the County Donegal, in the Kingdom of Ireland. His family was respectable; but their pecuniary circumstances were limited. He emigrated to the United States before the date of the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain, having sailed from in the brig "Providence," bound for Philadelphia, in 1783. He was then in the twenty-second year of his age. Immediately after his arrival in Philadelphia, he proceeded to the house of his maternal uncle, Mr. Joshua Russell, in York County. After spending a short time there, he became an assistant in the store of Mr. John Tom, at Stony Batter, a country place at the foot of the North Mountain, then in Cumberland (now in Franklin County).

"He commenced business for himself, about the beginning of the year 1788; and on the 16th of April in the same year, was married to Elizabeth Speer. My father was a man of practical judgment, and of great industry and perseverance. He had received a good English education, and had that kind of knowledge of mankind which prevented him from being ever deceived in his business. With these qualifications, with the facility of obtaining goods on credit at Baltimore at that early period, and with

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