James Buchanan 1857 - 1861

President James Buchanan, our 15th president, chose fine Sevres porcelain for his china like many before him had done.. As the only President from the great state of Pennsylvania and our only bachelor President, Buchanan was unique. He and his niece, Harriet Lane who served as official "hostess" at The White House during the Buchanan administration, held lavish levees and used their entertainment skills to cultivate international support during the leadup to the Civil War. Buchanan thought proper entertaining so important that he often paid for the parties out of his own pocket rather than use public funds. The beautiful Sevres china that served as Buchanan's official dinnerware was purchased from the French foreign minister when Buchanan and he were both foreign ministers to Russia. Buchanan thought the design so attractive that he made the French minister an offer that was quickly accepted. Replenishments came from Sevres and and several other French factories which was often typical of the day.

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