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Historian Argues Former President James Buchanan Wasn't Gay

It's not a secret to most people that James Buchanan most likely had an intimate relationship with his bachelor friend William Rufus King as the two have been stuck together throughout most of their lives like two peas in a pod.

But historian Thomas Balcerski examines the personal documentation left by Buchanan and comes to the conclusion that, contrary to popular speculation, he wasn't gay.

Buchanan’s purported homosexuality has inspired considerable literary and scholarly output in the last few decades, including a 1987 article in the noted historical journal Penthouse.
The question arises because Buchanan spent a good portion of his political prime, coinciding roughly with the 1830s, in a very close friendship with another lifelong bachelor: William Rufus King of Alabama — a senator, diplomat, and finally vice president under Franklin Pierce (for a month and a half, until King died of tuberculosis).

(Image credit: Oxford University Press)

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