15th President. Autograph letter signed “Always your friend, James Buchanan” AS PRESIDENT, two pages (recto and verso of one leaf), 5×8, Washington, October 10, 1860. Addressed to Lily L. Macalaster, in part:
I have received your favor of the 10th announcing your engagement & most sincerely & ardently do I hope that your marriage may prove auspicious & secure your future happiness & prosperity. I need not assure you that I feel all the interest which devoted friendship can inspire in your permanent welfare.
I had thought that ‘the prospect of a dreary spinsterhood’ would not have compelled you into an engagement without saying a word on the subject to your superannuated bachelor friend; but when young ladies have determined to marry they will go ahead.
May you enjoy all the blessings in your matrimonial state which I ardently desire & you so richly deserve!
Lily L. Macalaster was a friend to Buchanan’s orphaned niece, Harriet Lane, whom he adopted. Buchanan never married, and as a result, Lane served as official White House hostess during her uncle’s time in office.
In very good condition, some soiling to bottom of back leaf.