From the personal library of President James Buchanan, The Law and Practice of Distress and Replevin by Geoffrey Gilbert. Octavo, viii, 286pp, [49pp. Table of Principal Matters]. Full calf, title on spine in gilt over red morocco label. Reinforced hinges, some loss to rear endpaper. Toning to leaf ends, overall clean text. Previous ownership signature on title page. Signed by President James Buchanan on the front endpaper. An exceptionally rare signed book from the 15th President of the United States.
Comments: This law book is from the personal library of President James Buchanan. His library was primarily held at his home in Lancaster, PA, called Wheatland. The majority of his presidential papers, correspondence and books went to Dickinson college, his alma mater. After graduating with honors in 1809, James Buchanan moved to Lancaster and became a legal apprentice to James Hopkins. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1812. Buchanan would go on to serve in the House of Representatives from 1821-1831, United States Senator (1834-1845), then as the 17th Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. He was elected President of the United States in 1856, serving one term. He predicted in retirement that “history would vindicate my memory,” but his inability to stop the succession of the southern states has sealed his legacy as one of the least successful presidents in history.