Martin Van Buren Facts
& a Martin Van Buren Poem

Martin Van Buren Cartoon

Martin Van Buren Facts

8th President of the United States

Term:
1837 - 1841

Political Party:
Democratic Republican
Free Soil Party

Born:
December 5, 1782, Kinderhook, New York

Died:
July 24, 1862

Married:
Hannah Van Buren, 1807-1819


The Innkeeper's Son
A Martin Van Buren Poem

At his father's tavern
where the travelers came to drink,
a young Van Buren listened hard.
He'd ponder and he'd think.

Alexander Hamilton and,
often, Aaron Burr
would  talk the talk of politics,
and someetimes, they'd concur.

His father was a farmer
and a tavern-keeper, too.
But Martin's love of politics
took root and quickly grew.

He won his share of races
till he won the Senate seat,
this making him the "magic" man,
so difficult to beat.

He forged on to his final goal.
He would not quit or stop.
At last he was the president,
the pinnacle,
on top.

Poem and art by Denise Rodgers
Copyright©Denise Rodgers
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Facts about the Martin Van Buren Poem

His father was an innkeeper, and young Martin Van Buren would wait on tables. Because politicians often came to the inn, Van Buren developed an interest in politics. Despite his humble beginnings, he became quite the dresser and well known for his expensive tastes. Because of the economic depression that he inherited from Andrew Jackson's administration, it was hard to win a bid for a second term, and he lost the 1840 presidential campaign.

More Martin Van Buren Facts

Legal Beagle
While he might have honed his interest in politics in his father's tavern, Van Buren became and attorney before he ever ran for office.

Number Two Tried Harder
Martin Van Buren was Vice President to Andrew Jackson prior to his presidency.

First Native-Born American President
Van Buren was the first president born after the American Revolution. As a matter of fact, his first spoken language was Dutch --- the language spoken in his immigrant home, and in his hometown of Kinderhook, New York.

Popularized "OK"
Van Buren's nickname was Old Kinderhook, which was shortened to OK. During the election of 1840, his supporters formed an OK Club, and the term became part of the American language.

If you enjoyed these Martin Van Buren facts and the Martin Van Buren poem, check out our US Presidents page for a complete list. Or go to WhiteHouse.gov for more Martin Van Buren history.

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