James Buchanan Teasingly Laments His "Usual Hard Fate" With Ladies

April 10, 1846

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James Buchanan Teasingly Laments His "Usual Hard Fate" With Ladies
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 1676

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      A confirmed bachelor, here James Buchanan teasingly laments his “usual hard fate when ladies are the question” – having missed a social call – and comments on a pending marriage:
       
      I learn that Miss Jane is about to turn a corner upon me & get married. Well be it so: I shall harbor no malice. On the contrary, I should be much gratified if "the young couple" would make me a visit & pass a few days with me at my Bachelor's abode in Washington. It will afford me sincere pleasure to see Miss Jane even though she could be metamorphosed into Mrs…
       
       Buchanan had been engaged as a young man to marry a beautiful heiress but, suspected by his fiancée’s family of being a fortune hunter, the engagement was broken. Some months afterward, the lady in question died – most likely by her own hand, of an overdose of laudanum. Buchanan vowed never to marry, and did not - although a long intimate relationship with bachelor William Rufus King (Congressman, Senator and Vice President) gave rise to rumors of a domestic partnership.


      Autograph Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, 2 pages, quarto, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, April 10, 1846. With integral address leaf and including his Visiting Card, inscribed in autograph to Miss Miller. To Mrs. Jesse Miller in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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      Lancaster 10 April 1846

      My dear Madam,

      Until the arrival of the mail last evening, I had anticipated the pleasure of returning your call through the Telegraph when "I was out," by a visit this day in propria persona at Harrisburg intending to remain there until Monday morning.  But in this I have been destined to disappointment, - my usual hard fate when ladies are in the question.  You will please, therefore, to accept this note as a visit to yourself & deliver the enclosed cards to the young ladies. -  I must now return forthwith to Washington.

      By the by - I learn that Miss Jane is about to turn a corner upon me & get married. Well be it so : - I shall harbor no malice.  On the contrary, I should be much gratified if "the young couple" would make me a visit & pass a few days with me at my Bachelor's abode in Washington. 

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      It will afford me sincere pleasure to see Miss Jane even though she should be metamorphosed into Mrs . ~

      Please to remember me most kindly to her & Miss McKibben : and, also, to Mr. Miller & believe me to be

      Very respectfully & sincerely
      Your friend

      JAMES BUCHANAN


      Mrs Jesse Miller

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      Mrs Jesse  Miller
      Harrisburg
      Pennsylvania


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      For Miss Miller


      MR  BUCHANAN.