The bronze sculpture of Buchanan is the only monument to the 15th President in the city of Washington, D.C. Created by Hans Schuler in 1929, the monument depicts a seated Buchanan flanked by two allegorical figures. Though commissioned in 1916, it was not approved by Congress until 1918. Unveiled on June 26, 1930, the monument was intended to compliment an earlier monument located at Buchanan's birthplace in Mercersburg, Pennslyvania.
The base of the monument is made from concrete and Milfor pink marble. It measures approximately 70 X 69 inches. The sculpture itself is about 6 feet 2 inches tall by 6 feet 7 inches wide and represents Buchanan sitting in a chair, wearing a robe and looking down at a sheet of paper held in his left hand. Behind him is a white marble wall and curved stone bench, upon which are seated anthropomorphized representations of Diplomacy and Law made of granite.
Several inscriptions are featured on the monument. These include the name of the artist (back wall behind the sculpture), BVCHANAN (back wall, above the sculpture), and JAMES BUCHANAN OF PENNSYLVANIA/PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES/MDCCCLVII-MDCCClXI (back wall, to the right of the sculpture). On the left side of the back wall is a quote from Jeremiah S. Black, a member of Buchanan's cabinet. It reads:
THE INCORRUPTIBLE STATESMAN WHOSE/WALK WAS UPON THE MOUNTAIN RANGES OF/THE LAW.1