U.S. Presidents / Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren

1782 - 1862

Martin Van Buren

Though not altogether exempt from embarrassments that disturb our tranquillity at home and threaten it abroad, yet in all the attributes of a great, happy, and flourishing people we stand without a parallel in the world. Inaugural Address


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 presidential election, Van Buren received 40,000 more votes than he had in his 1836 victory. In subsequent years, historians have come to regard Van Buren as integral to the development of the American political system.

Fast Facts

Martin Van Buren
Kinderhook, New York
Kinderhook Academy (graduated 1796)
Dutch Reformed
“The Little Magician,” “The Red Fox of Kinderhook”
February 21, 1807, to Hannah Hoes (1783–1819)
Abraham (1807–1873), John (1810–1866), Martin (1812–1855), Winfield Scott (1813), Smith Thompson (1817–1876)
Kinderhook Cemetery, Kinderhook, New York
Joel Silbey

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Martin Van Buren.” Accessed June 13, 2024. https://prod.millercenter.org/president/vanburen.

Emeritus Professor

Joel Silbey

Professor Silbey is the President White Professor of History, Emeritus at Cornell University.