Martin Van Buren

Eighth President 1837-1841
Van Buren


Born: On December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook, Columbia, New York.

Education: He studied at the Kinderhook Academy, leaving at the age of 13.

Occupation: Lawyer, public official.

Religion: Dutch Reformed.

Family life: He married Hannah Hoes in 1807, when he was 24 and his bride just three months younger. Apparently their marriage was a happy one, though little is known of Hannah as a person. They had five sons, one dying in infancy. Hannah not yet 36 died , apparently from tuberculosis, on February 5, 1819. He never remarried.

Political career: A rival of DeWitt Clinton for leadership of the New York Republicans; held state offices before becoming United States Senator, 1821-28, then succeeded Clinton as governor. A trusted advisor and secretary of state to Andrew Jackson; became his vice-president, 1833-37. Succeeded Jackson as president; nominated again in 1840 but was defeated. Nominated in 1848 by the dissident Free-Soil Party: retired after his defeat.

Hightlights of his presidency: Opposed annexation of Texas. Fought unpopular war with Seminole Indians in Florida.

Appearance: Small 5 feet 6 inches and erect with graying hair.

DiedVan Buren had purchased the old Van Ness mansion on the Hudson near Kinderhook and renamed it Lindenwald (Linden Woods) after the trees. There he spent his declining years, pampered by his daughters-in-law, honored by his neighbors and by famous visitors. He died on July 24, 1862, at the age of 79. He would have been pleased to know that 81 carriages, including that of the governor of New York, followed his hearse to the nearby cemetery of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Buried:He is buried at Kinderhook Cemetery a short drive from Lindenwald. The president's headstone lies just behind and to the left of the monument, his wife lies next to him.


  • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  • Groliers Martin Van Buren Biography
  • Inaugural Address
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Martin Van Buren
  • Martin Van Bure by Katie Jeffreys




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