"Highly Unsuccessful Performance, by Dismal Jemmy." Currier and Ives, 1860.
flipFlip to James Buchanan as "The Bewildered Old Woman," carrying the Ostend Manifesto, Vanity Fair, January 7, 1860.
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Man walking on a tightrope.

Credit: Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections

In 1860 Currier and Ives published this cartoon of "Dismal Jemmy" Buchanan attempting to keep balance between North and South on the Mason and Dixon Line tightrope. Buchanan's unsuccessful balancing act would earn him the scorn of his contemporaries and of American historians, many of whom consider him the worst president in American history.

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