James Buchanan Birthplace



     The stone pyramid, erected in 1907, stands as a memorial to James Buchanan at the Stony Batter cabin site. His niece, Harriett Lane, paid to have the memorial erected in his memory.



     Since 1953, the cabin in which James Buchanan was born sits on the grounds of the Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania..


















     James Buchanan was born in log cabin about 3 miles from Mercersburg, Pennsylvania on April 23, 1791. The name of the place was "Stony Batter" near Cove Gap.

     James' father owned a trading post at Stony Batter . The trading post was an important meeting point on the road between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On some days, as many as one hundred horses rested in stables there.

     When James was five years old, his mother, Elizabeth, wanted a quieter place to raise a family.  Mr. Buchanan moved his family to Mercersburg. He bought a two-story building in the center of town. The building served as both a home and a store.  Mercersburg proved to be an ideal spot for the Buchanan's to live.

     James and his sisters received their education from their mother. She was unschooled but read from the writers of the day. Her greatest influence on James came form her strict Presbyterian teachings. A strong belief in the will of God and the Ten Commandments guided Elizabeth and her family.

     James helped out in the family store and was expected to seek a profession.  At age sixteen, he entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At age twenty-one he was admitted to the bar as a lawyer.