Bu·chan·an(byo͞o-kăn′ən, bə-), James 1791-1868.
The 15th president of the United States (1857-1861). He tried to maintain a balance between proslavery and antislavery factions, but his moderate views angered radicals in both North and South, and he was unable to forestall the secession of South Carolina on December 20, 1860.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.