Martin Van Buren


Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States. Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President (1833–1837) and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson (1829–1831). Van Buren was a key organizer of the Democratic Party, a dominant figure in the Second Party System, and the first president not of British or Irish descent—his family was Dutch.… Read More

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1782 Birth Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782, in the village of Kinderhook, New York about south of Albany on the Hudson River. … Read More
1787 4 Years Old He was active in local politics and government, and served as Kinderhook's town clerk from 1787 to 1797. … Read More


1796 13 Years Old Van Buren received a basic education at the village schoolhouse and briefly studied Latin at the Kinderhook Academy and at Washington Seminary in Claverack. His formal education ended before he reached 14, when he began reading law in 1796 at the office of Peter Silvester and his son Francis, prominent Federalist attorneys in Kinderhook. … Read More


1803 20 Years Old Van Buren was admitted to the bar in 1803.
1807 24 Years Old 1 More Event
Van Buren married Hannah Hoes, his childhood sweetheart and first cousin once removed, on February 21, 1807, in Catskill, New York. … Read More
1808 25 Years Old Van Buren served as Surrogate from 1808 until 1813, when the Federalist Party obtained a majority in the state legislature and replaced him. … Read More
1812 29 Years Old Though he never served in the military, during the War of 1812 Van Buren worked in the State Senate to pass war measures, including bills to expand the New York Militia and increase soldier pay. … Read More


1814 - 1817 3 More Events
1819 36 Years Old After 12 years of marriage, Hannah Van Buren contracted tuberculosis and died on February 5, 1819, at the age of 35.
1820 37 Years Old 1 More Event
He replaced William Floyd as a presidential elector in 1820, and voted for James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins.
1821 38 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Elected to the Senate by the state legislature in 1821, Van Buren supported William H. Crawford for president in the 1824 election, but by 1828 had come to support General Andrew Jackson. … Read More


Van Buren at first favored internal improvements, such as road repairs and canal construction; he proposed a constitutional amendment in 1824 to authorize such undertakings, but changed his position the following year.
1826 43 Years Old As chair of the Judiciary Committee, he brought forward a number of measures for the improvement of judicial procedure, including one (not adopted), which would have required a super-majority vote by the United States Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional. in May 1826, Van Buren joined with Senator Thomas Hart Benton in reporting on patronage in the executive branch, going against his own use of the spoils system to propose unsuccessfully that Presidents not be able to remove officeholders at will, and that Presidents report to Congress on the reasons why dismissed holders of federal positions had been removed.
1827 44 Years Old …  In February 1827, he was re-elected to the Senate by a large majority. … Read More
After the House contest, Van Buren shrewdly kept out of the controversy which followed, and began looking forward to 1828.
Van Buren won his election, and resigned from the Senate to start the gubernatorial term, which began on January 1, 1829. … Read More
During Jackson's eight years as president, Van Buren was a key advisor, and built the organizational structure for the coalescing Democratic Party, particularly in New York. In 1831, following his resignation as Secretary of State, Jackson gave Van Buren a recess appointment as American minister to Britain, but Van Buren's nomination was rejected by the Senate, cutting short his service in London.
He was successful in the jockeying to become Jackson's picked successor, and was elected vice president in 1832.


1833 - 1836 5 More Events
…  Van Buren's inability as president to deal with the deep economic depression following the Panic of 1837 and with the surging Whig Party led to his defeat in the 1840 election.
In 1839, Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, visited Van Buren to plead for the U.S. to help roughly 20,000 Mormon settlers of Independence, Missouri (who were forced from the state during the 1838 Mormon War) there. … Read More
1840 57 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1840, Van Buren was voted out of office, losing to Whig candidate William Henry Harrison. … Read More


On the expiration of his term, Van Buren returned to his estate, Lindenwald in Kinderhook, where he planned his return to the White House. He seemed likely to be nominated by the Democrats in 1844, but in April of that year a Van Buren letter to William H. Hammett was made public. … Read More
1848 65 Years Old 1 More Event
While in the state Senate Van Buren voted for a resolution instructing New York's members of Congress to vote against the admission of Missouri as a slave state. In 1848 he would be the nominated for president by the Free Soil Party (an anti-slavery political party). … Read More
1852 - 1860 2 More Events
1861 78 Years Old 1 More Event
Van Buren's health began to fail in 1861, and he died in July 1862 at the age of seventy-nine. … Read More
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