Andrew Buchanan (1780 - 1848)

Andrew Buchanan was born on April 8, 1780 to Andrew and Rachel Gilleylen Buchanan in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Despite the death of his father when young Andrew was five and then the death of his step-father in 1790, Buchanan received an education and enrolled with the class of 1798 at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After graduating with his class, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in Harrisburg in 1801 and practiced in York, Pennsylvania for a short time before moving his practice to Waynesburg, in Greene County, Pennsylvania in 1803.

One of the earliest practicing lawyers in the district, a political career at the local, state, and national level followed. He became a county commissioner and served in the Pennsylvania Legislature between 1831 and 1835. Buchanan was then elected to the House of Representatives and served between March 1835 and March 1839 first calling himself a Jacksonian in the Twenty-Fourth Congress and then a Democrat in the Twenty-Fifth. After these two terms, which included service as chairman of the politically charged Elections Committee, he retired from politics and devoted himself to his law practice.

Andrew had met Rhoda Stevenson upon arriving in Waynesburg and the two were married in 1804. Nine of their children survived infancy and began families of their own. Andrew lived out the rest of his life in Waynesburg until his death on December 2, 1848 and was buried in the Greene Mount Cemetery. His wife Rhoda died in 1869. To his immediate family Andrew left a large amount of land, property, and money.

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Dickinson College Archives
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