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 Ann Caroline Coleman

Ann Caroline Coleman

Birth
Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 9 Dec 1819 (aged 23)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 6709783 · View Source
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Historical Figure. Fiance of future President James Buchanan. She broke off their engagement over unclear circumstances and died mysteriously shortly thereafter. Anne Caroline Coleman, the daughter of a wealthy iron manufacturing businessman Robert Coleman and Ann Old Coleman Anne was the sister-in-law of Philadelphia judge Joseph Hemphill, one of future president James Buchanan's colleagues from the House of Representatives. Who introduced the two, Buchanan spent little time with her during the courtship: he was extremely busy with his law firm and political projects during the Panic of 1819, which took him away from Coleman for weeks at a time. Conflicting rumors abounded, suggesting that he was marrying her for her money, because his own family was less affluent, or that he was involved with other women. Buchanan never publicly spoke of his motives or feelings, but letters from Ann revealed she was paying heed to the rumors.
By all accounts Anne Coleman was a lovely young lady who was known to be shy, sensitive and very beautiful. at the age of 23 Anne became engaged Buchanan who was 28 at the time, after the couple quarreled Anne She broke off their engagement over unclear circumstances and went to visit relatives in Philadelphia, There on December 9th 1819 died mysteriously shortly thereafter possibly of an overdose of laudanum her death has long been speculated to be a suicide The records of a Dr. Chapman, who looked after her in her final hours, and who said just after her death that this was "the first instance he ever knew of hysteria producing death", reveal that he theorized, despite the absence of any valid evidence, the woman's demise was caused by an overdose of laudanum, a concentrated tincture of opium, James Buchanan lost in his grief said afterwards that "I have lost the only Earthy object of my affection without whom life presents to me a dreary blank. My prospects are all cut off and I feel that my happiness will be buried with her in the grave, The Coleman family held James Buchanan responsible for Anne's death this was made clear when they returned unopened Buchanan's request to be permitted to take part in the funeral services Buchanan wrote "It is now no time for explanation, but the time will come when you will discover that she, as well as I, have been much abused. God forgive the authors of it, I may sustain the shock of her death, but I feel that happiness has fled from me forever. In later years Buchanan let it be known that he had placed under seal certain materials that when examined would explain the trivial matter over which they quarreled. On his death in 1868 the sealed materials were discovered with a note ordering that they be destroyed unexamined; Executers of his estate complied. Before Anne's death Buchanan was planning to quietly build his law practice but with Anne's death leaving his future unsettled he acceded to request that he run for congress largely to take his mind off of his profound grief! Buchanan preserved Ann Coleman's letters, keeping them with him throughout his life; at his request, they were burned upon his death.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: GP
  • Added: 21 Aug 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6709783
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ann Caroline Coleman (18 Oct 1796–9 Dec 1819), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6709783, citing Saint James Episcopal Church Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .