Born October 7, 1843, in Smyth County
Died September 2, 1921, in Washington County
First elected by the General Assembly on January 6, 1894, to a term of twelve years beginning January 1, 1895. Service terminated by resignation.
Emory and Henry College, B.A., 1870
Attended the University of Virginia and studied law, 1870-1871
Private practice, Abingdon, 1872-1892
State delegate, 1885-1887
U.S. representative from Virginia, 1889-1893
Civil War (Confederate)
Elected, 117 Va., iii; birth, education, career, and death, Peter Wallenstein, “John Alexander Buchanan (1843-1921),” in Kneebone and Bearrs, Dictionary of Virginia Biography (Richmond, Va.: Library of Virginia, 1998) v. 2, 369; and memorial, 179 Va., vii; education, Emory and Henry College Board of Trustees minutes, June 8, 1870, Emory and Henry College Archives; portrait, Library of Virginia catalog.
The Constitution of 1902 included a provision that the first judges elected under the new constitution be elected to terms of four, six, eight, ten, and twelve years, and thereafter to regular terms of twelve years. This measure was taken to prevent another complete turnover of the court, which had occurred in 1882 and 1894. Under the terms of this provision, Buchanan was elected on January 16, 1906, to a new term of eight years beginning February 1, 1907. Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia, 1906 Session, 69 and 70; and Thomas R. Morris, The Virginia Supreme Court: An Institutional and Political Analysis (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1975), 22-24.