James Buchanan Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861), serving prior to the American Civil War. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the United States Secretary of State and in both houses of Congress before becoming president.
The argument for King's homosexuality has been put forward by biographer Jean Baker, supported by Shelley Ross, James W. Loewen, and Robert P. Watson, and focuses essentially on his close and intimate relationship with President James Buchanan. The two men lived together for 13 years from 1840 until King's death in 1853. Buchanan referred to the relationship as a "communion", and the two often attended official functions together. Contemporaries also noted and commented upon the unusual closeness. Andrew Jackson mockingly called them "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy" (the former being a 19th-century euphemism for an effeminate man), while Aaron V. Brown referred to King as Buchanan's "better half". However, Lewis Saum, has argued that "…Customs and expressions were different in the mid-1800s than they are today... "Miss Nancy" was "a fairly common designation for people who wore clean clothes and had good manners"; and noted that Aaron Brown was a political enemy of King.