Mr. Buchanan's Reception
Lancaster Examiner and Herald, March 13, 1861
As an item of local history and possessing somewhat of a local interest, we publish in to-day's EXAMINER a full report of the incidents &c., attending Mr. Buchanan's journey from Washington to Wheatland. His reception in this city, however flattering to his vanity, could not but have convinced him that he held no place in the heart or the affections of the people. That the pomp and parade attending his entrance was imposing, to a certain extent, we admit; but that it was caused by personal friendship, patriotism or an endorsement of his official acts we flatly deny. Had it not been for the military display the whole programme, extended as it was, would have ended in a broad farce. Outside of the men who have ever been his fawning sycophants, and those who have held office at his hands, none were found so poor and mean as to do him reverence.
But few of the respectable men of his own party took part in the miserable pageant.—They could not and they did not so demean themselves. This silent but expressive condemnation of the man and his public policy was the stroke that cut the old public functionary to the raw. That he felt it, all who saw his nervous, excited and bewildered manner knew. It was not James Buchanan, the able and dignified representative of his country at a foreign court who returned to his home at Wheatland; but James Buchanan the ex-President of the United States, the man who with traitors and robbers as his constitutional advisers, had tarnished the fair fame and brought ruin upon the government he was sworn to support and protect. As such, even the bought and paid reception he received, miserable as it was, was an insult to the intelligence and patriotism of a free people. But it is past and we have no more to say. If his home reception can atone for his base betrayal of the high public trust reposed in him, he is welcome to it.