8 | Martin Van Buren

Dec. 5, 1782 - July 24, 1862 State: New York Religion: He may have been Dutch Reformed, but he worshiped at St. John's Episcopal Church during his presidency. Marriage: Hannah Hoes Military service: None Party: Democrat Term: March 4, 1837 -- March 3, 1841 Vice president: Richard Mentor Johnson Highlights of presidency: An economic depression throughout his presidency was a major factor in Van Buren's failed reelection campaign in 1840. The border dispute between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, came to a head during Van Buren's term in office and was temporarily settled by a truce arranged by Gen. Winfield Scott. Van Buren opposed statehood for Texas because it threatened to exacerbate the debate over slavery. Texas became a state in 1845. Did you know? Van Buren was the first president born after the Declaration of Independence was signed and the first president born as a U.S. citizen. When he was vice president, he presided over the senate with loaded pistols. A political faction headed by Van Buren eventually became the Democratic Party. He made three unsuccessful bids for reelection. One of only three presidents of Dutch ancestry, Van Buren and his wife spoke Dutch at home. His autobiography does not mention his wife even once. Until George H.W. Bush, Van Buren was the last vice president to be elected to succeed the president under whom he served. He served as N.Y. state senator 1812-1820, U.S. senator 1821-1828, N.Y. governor from Jan.-March 1829; secretary of state, 1829-1831; and vice president, 1833-1837.
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