Martin Van Buren (1782 – 1862) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: Martin Van Buren said that the two happiest days of his life were his entrance into the office of President and his surrender of the office. While his political opponents were glad to see him go—they nicknamed him “Martin Van Ruin”—many Ameri… more life in brief » Essays about Martin Van Buren Life in Brief Life in Brief: Martin Van Buren said that the two happiest days of his life were his entrance into the office of President and his surrender of the office. While his political opponents were glad to see him go—they nicknamed him “Martin Van Ruin”—many Americans were not. Even though he lost the 1840 presid… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: Martin Van Buren, born on December 5, 1782, was the first American President not born a British subject. Van Buren's non-British ancestry (his parents were Dutch) would break one presidential mold, and his modest upbringing was preceded only by that of Andrew Jackson. Both of Van Buren's… Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The Campaign and Election of 1836: Martin Van Buren worked hard to build his friendship and political alliance with President Jackson and these efforts came to fruition in 1836 when Van Buren ran as Jackson's chosen successor. In fact, it appears that Jackson and key members of the Democratic P…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: The inauguration of 1837 proved less a celebration of the incoming president than a tribute to the outgoing one, Andrew Jackson. Martin Van Buren's inaugural address took wistful note of it: "In receiving from the people the sacred trust twice confided to my illustrious predecessor, and whi…Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: Soon after taking office, President Martin Van Buren faced a diplomatic crisis with Great Britain. It grew out of tensions between Americans, Canadians, and British soldiers along the borders between New York and Canada and Maine and Canada. Problems began when a small separatist movement in Canada …Life After the Presidency Life After the Presidency: When Martin Van Buren lost his 1840 bid for reelection, he never considered it the end of his political career. In fact, over the next four years he emerged as the favorite for the Democratic nomination in 1844. Van Buren, however, stumbled on his way to the nomination. Having lost the presidential …Family Life Family Life: Not much is known about Van Buren's relationship with his wife Hannah, largely because he rarely mentioned her in his private correspondence (and not at all in his memoirs.) Historian Donald Cole, a leading Van Buren scholar, has concluded, though, that the marriage was likely a happy one. Hanna…The American Franchise The American Franchise: In the history of the evolving American franchise, the 1830s was a period filled with significant change that greatly impacted the nation's political party system and electoral processes. Most notably, the four-fold expansion in the electorate during the 1828 and 1832 presidential campaigns …Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: When assessing the impact and legacy of Martin Van Buren, scholars have generally drawn a distinction between Van Buren's presidency, which they often judge lacking and troubled, and his contributions to the development of the American political system, which they find singular and significant. … About His Administration First Lady Angelica Van Buren Vice President Richard M. Johnson (1837–1841) Secretary of State John Forsyth (1837–1841) Attorney General Henry D. Gilpin (1840–1841) Felix Grundy (1838–1839) Benjamin F. Butler (1837–1838) Postmaster General John M. Niles (1840–1841) Amos Kendall (1837–1840) Secretary of the Treasury Levi Woodbury (1837–1841) Secretary of the Navy James K. Paulding (1838–1841) Mahlon Dickerson (1837–1838) Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett (1837–1841) Facts about Martin Van Buren Term: 8th President of the United States (1837 – 1841) Born: December 5, 1782, Kinderhook, New York Political Party: Democrat Died: July 24, 1862 Nickname: “The Little Magician,” “The Red Fox of Kinderhook” Education: Kinderhook Academy (graduated 1796) Religion: Dutch Reformed Marriage: February 21, 1807, to Hannah Hoes (1783–1819) Children: Abraham (1807–1873), John (1810–1866), Martin (1812–1855), Winfield Scott (1813), Smith Thompson (1817–1876) Career: Lawyer Buried: Kinderhook Cemetery, Kinderhook, New York WritingsInquiry into the Origin and Course of Political Parties in the United States (1867); The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren (1920), ed. by John C. Fitzpatrick Martin Van Buren Image Gallery More images » Citation Information Consulting Editor Joel Silbey Professor Silbey is the President White Professor of History, Emeritus at Cornell University. His writings include: The American Political Nation, 1838–1893 (Stanford University Press, 1991) Respectable Minority: the Democratic Party in the Civil War Era 1860–1868 (W. W. Norton & Co (Sd), 1977) William Harrison » « Andrew Jackson American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!