Perley's Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis - Vol. 1

By Ben: Perley Poore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLI.
MISS LANE IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

PRESIDENT-ELECT BUCHANAN--MISS HARRIET LANE--THE NEW CABI-
NET AND THE MESSAGE--THE NEWSPAPER ORGANS--INAUGURATION
OF PRESIDENT BUCHANAN--THE INAUGURATION BALL--THE DRED
SCOTT DECISION--THE MINORITY DECISION.

AFTER the election of Mr. Buchanan, his home at Lancaster, "Wheatland," was a political Mecca, to which leading Democrats from all sections made pilgrimages. Mr. Buchanan, who was experienced in public affairs, appointed his nephew, Mr. J. Buchanan Henry, a well-informed young gentleman, recently admitted to the Philadelphia bar, as his private secretary, and made him indorse brief statements of their contents on each of the numerous letters of recommendation for office which he received.

A few weeks before his inauguration, Mr. Buchanan visited Washington, that he might confer with his leading political friends. He entertained a large party of them at dinner at the National Hotel, after which nearly all of those present suffered from the effects of poison taken into their systems from an impure water supply, and some of them never recovered.

Mr. Buchanan was accompanied, when he left his home to be inaugurated, by Miss Harriet Lane, his niece, a graceful blonde with auburn hair and violet eyes, who had passed a season in London when her uncle was the American Minister there, and who was

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