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Who is this president?   

Tall, stately, and stiffly formal ____, the 15th president of the United States, was the only president who never married. Although he was a gifted debater skillful in the practice of law, he did not understand the political realities of his time. Prior to becoming president he served five terms in the House of Representatives, a period as Minister of Russia, 10 years in the Senate, as Polk's Secretary of State, and as Pierce's Minister to Great Britain. His time spent outside the United States helped to win him the Democratic nomination in 1856 since he wasn't involved in the bitter controversies that led to the Civil War. Two days after President ____ took office, the Supreme Court delivered the Dred Scott decision, asserting that Congress had no power to deprive people of their property rights to slaves in the territories. Unsurprisingly, Southerners were delighted and Northerners were furious. President ____ attempted unsuccessfully to have Kansas admitted as a slave state. Sectional strife stalemated the government and split the Democratic Party into northern and southern branches, each nominating their own candidate for the presidency. At that point it became evident that the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, would be elected. Rather than accept a Republican president, the southern "fire-eaters" threatened secession. President ____ said the states had no right to secede, but that the federal government could not legally prevent them from doing it. He wanted a compromise, but the secessionist leaders did not. Finally, President ____ took a more militant approach. As his cabinet members resigned, he appointed northerners. He refused to surrender any of the federal forts that he could hold and ordered reinforcements sent to Fort Sumter at Charleston, South Carolina. However, when the supply ship was fired upon, it turned back. As the crisis worsened, war was inevitable.

During this president's term in office, the Pony Express began as a cross-country mail delivery system.

In 1857, during this president's term, the Supreme Court verdict in the famous Dred Scott case came down declaring that slavery was legal in all Western territories that were not yet states.

He was blamed for failing to prevent the secession of the Southern States.

Since this president did not have a wife, he asked his niece, Miss Harriet Lane, to serve as White House hostess.

This president once said "The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among freemen."

Who is this president?
     William McKinley
     Harry Truman
     James Polk
     Franklin Pierce
     Abraham Lincoln
     James Buchanan

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