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Martin Van Buren

1837-1841

  • Born Dec. 5, 1782 in Kinderhook, NY, died July 24, 1862 in Kinderhook, NY and was buried in Kinderhook Reformed Cemetery.
  • He married Hannah Hoes Van Buren, they had four children.
  • He attended College: Law in New York City.
  • His other occupations: Lawyer, Governor of NY, Ambassador to Great Britain, Secretary of State, US Senator & Vice President.
  • He was elected the United States’ 8th president. H was a small man who came to the White House as an anti-slavery Democrat. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1821 and emerged as the principal northern leader for Andrew Jackson. The president rewarded him by making him secretary of state and later vice-president.
  • President Jackson wanted the “Little Magician” to be his minister to Great Britain, but the Whigs in Congress refused to confirm him, so Jackson put him on the Jacksonian ticket in 1832 as vice-president. He won the presidency in 1836.
  • He was immediately confronted with a financial panic when he assumed his duties as the nation’s president. Van Buren followed the Jackson program and after much trouble with the termination of the United States Bank Charter, set up the independent United States Treasury. This plan was upset for a brief time in the next administration, but it was revived and has continued ever since.
  • Inclined more and more to oppose the expansion of slavery, Van Buren blocked the annexation of Texas because it assuredly would add to slave territory — and it might bring war with Mexico.
  • Defeated in his 1840 re-election bid by the Whigs, he made another attempt to become president in 1848 but failed.
  • Van Buren then retired from politics and never again held a public office.
  • He remained opposed to the extension of slavery and died during the Civil War before the issue was finally settled.

Compiled by Phyllis Stowers, Lifestyles Editor for The Lincoln Journal.

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