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With a General Admission ticket, enjoy a guided tour of President James Buchanan's Wheatland and self-guided access to all LancasterHistory.org exhibitions. Please select your desired date and tour time for entry into Wheatland.
Join us for the second installment of LancasterHistory's new artifact-focused programming series, the Material Culture Forum! On Thursday, March 28, 2019, join LancasterHistory Curatorial staff for in-depth object studies of Lancaster County portraiture and clothing followed by a presentation by Zara Anishanslin, Ph.D., who will join us in conversation about her book "Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Hidden Histories of the British Atlantic World."
Did you ever want to stroll through a President's historic home and to take your time looking around? Well, now you can do just that at Wheatland's "Go At Your Own Pace" program. This special program is available every last Saturday during the months of March through October. Take your time as you stroll through President James Buchanan's historic Wheatland. During your visit you will meet several history guides who will be stationed in rooms throughout the house to answer your questions. Tours depart every 15 minutes from LancasterHistory's main building to Wheatland. Please select your preferred departure time below.
Experience history through stories and hands-on activities! Join LancasterHistory.org as we introduce children to historic themes and read a book aloud. Then, stay for an activity or craft inspired by the day’s theme. This hands-on learning opportunity broadens historical knowledge while establishing basic museum literacy and critical thinking skills.
On Thursday, April 4, 2019, Dr. Katie Sibley will join LancasterHistory to discuss the “other women” of the White House: First Ladies never married to presidents. Beginning with Martha Jefferson Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, there have been a handful of “surrogate First Ladies” who have performed the duties of White House hostess while not being married to the president. Even when these women are acknowledged as “surrogate First Ladies,” they are often not granted the value or respect of official First Ladies, though many served important roles in presidential administrations.

Perhaps most notable to the lineup of surrogate First Ladies is Harriet Lane, niece of President James Buchanan, who is the only woman who was not married to a president that is considered an “official” First Lady. Harriet Lane acted as Buchanan’s hostess and was a highly visible public figure. Other non-spousal relatives, including Emily Donelson and Sarah Yorke Jackson (Andrew Jackson’s niece and daughter-in-law, respectively), Angelica Singleton Van Buren (Martin Van Buren’s daughter-in-law), and Rose Elizabeth Cleveland (Grover Cleveland’s sister), took on the duties of First Lady.
Experience an immersion in history! Living history reenactors will share history through first-person portrayals of historic characters associated with James Buchanan's life. Your ticket includes access to all museum exhibitions, the living history program, and a guided tour at President James Buchanan's Wheatland. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your timed entry to Wheatland to check in. Living History at Wheatland Saturday programs are offered on the first Saturday of March - October. To view a particularly Living History Saturday's theme, please visit www.lancasterhistory.org/events.

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, Dr. Holly Brewer will join LancasterHistory to discuss the anti-slavery sentiment in Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence, and the vigorous debates it led to.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in June 1776, he railed against the monarchy of King George III for being “determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold.” At the time, Jefferson owned about 200 slaves. He would continue to own slaves for the rest of his life.



Hypocritical or not, Jefferson’s public stance on the slave trade in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence was quite clear. “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him,” Jefferson wrote of King George III. “Captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisp[h]ere.” When the document was sent to Congress for its approval, the representative from South Carolina took issue with its anti-slavery sentiment. After it had been edited by Congress, the resulting document was still one that would send echoes of freedom throughout the colonies. But it didn’t mean the same for all the new country’s inhabitants as the original draft would have. The result was the strange juxtaposition of slavery amid calls for freedom. Dr. Holly Brewer will discuss the complex factors at play in these debates, and the resulting document which came to represent the fragile relationship between liberty and slavery in America.