Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BUCHANAN, McKean, actor, born in Philadelphia,, Pennsylvania, 28 February, 1823; died in Denver, Col., 16 April, 1872. He was the son of Paymaster MeKean Buchanan, United States navy. He was educated for the navy, and served three years as midshipman on the sloop-of-war "St. Louis." His first appearance as an actor was made at the St. Charles theatre New Orleans, in the character of Hamlet, in which role he made his appearance in New York in 1850, but with little success. He visited England twice, and also made tours in Australia and California. His somber and antiquated style did not please the people of New York, and during the latter years of his professional life he confined his labors to the west, where he was very popular. Mr. Buchanan possessed sterling merit as an actor and made many warm friends.--His daughter, Virginia Ellen, born in 1866, has adopted her father's profession.--His son, Thomas McKean, lieutenant-commander, United States navy, born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, 10 September, 1837; died in Bayou Teche, Louisiana, 15 January, 1862. He was graduated at the United States naval academy in 1855, became lieutenant in 1860 and lieutenant-commander in 1862. He co-operated with the national army in many battles on the lower Mississippi, and was killed while encouraging his men in the sharp action at Bayou Teche. Farragut called him "one of our most gallant and persevering young officers."
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