Martin Van Buren
8th President of the United States
Martin Van Buren
• Born - December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook of
Columbia County, New York
• Died - July 24, 1862 in New York City of
• Education – no formal education
• Occupations – lawyer
• Married – Hannah Hoes Van Buren on February
21, 1807 in Catskill, NY
• Home – Kinderhook, New York
• Political Party – Democratic
• 1st March 4, 1837 in Washington D.C.
• Left school at age 14 to become a lawyer, won
first case at age 16, and was admitted to the
New York bar in 1803.
• He had 4 children with his wife. She died in
1819, making him the second straight bachelor
• Served as New York State Senator from 1813-
1815, New York Attorney General from 1815-
1819, and Governor of New York in 1829.
• Served as United States Senator from 1821 to
1829. Resigned as senator to become
• Was Andrew Jackson’s second Vice-president.
• His VP was Richard M. Johnson
• Van Buren devoted his Inaugural Address to a
discourse upon the American experiment as an
example to the rest of the world.
• Van Buren and his supporters became known
as the “Old Kinderhook Club” – or the O.K.
• The country was prosperous, but less than
three months later, the panic of 1837
punctured the prosperity.
• For about five years, the United States was
wracked by the worst depression thus far in its
• He opposed not only the creation of a new
Bank of the United States but also the placing
of Government funds in state banks.
• As for Federal aid to internal improvements, he
cut off expenditures so completely that the
Government even sold the tools it had used on
• Van Buren blocked the annexation of Texas
because it assuredly would add to slave
territory--and it might bring war with Mexico.
• Van Buren believed in weak slavery.
• Van Buren was able to get the federal
workweek down to 10 hours a day.
• He was an unsuccessful candidate for President on
the Free Soil ticket in 1848.
• He was the first president born as a United States
• Until George Bush, Martin Van Buren was the last vice
president to be elected to succeed the president
under whom he served.
• He was described as a "dandy," and known to be an
exquisite dresser who enjoyed expensive wine and
• Presidential Salary was $25,000 a year.
• Among his nicknames were the Red Fox, the Little
Magician, and the Careful Dutchman, all referring to
his cleverness as a politician
• 1836 – There were five candidates for
President. Martin Van Buren, the
Democrat, received 170 electoral votes.
William Henry Harrison, a Whig, was
second with 73. Also running were Hugh
White, Daniel Webster, and Willie
Mangum. White, Webster, and Mangum
were all Whigs. Van Buren’s state, New
York, had the most electoral votes with
• 1840 – William Henry Harrison ran
against Van Buren. He received 53%
of the popular vote, but won 80% of
the electoral vote with 234 to Van
Buren’s 60. Van Buren did not even
win his home state of New York.
• “I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men
. . . in receiving from the people the
sacred trust confided to my illustrious
• "The less government interferes with
private pursuits, the better for general
"No evil can result from its (slavery's)
inhibition more pernicious than its