Skip links

Martin Van Buren Biography and Facts For Kids

Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States, serving from 1837 to 1841. Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President for Andrew Jackson. He was a key organizer of the Democratic Party and was the first president from New York. He was reared on his father’s farm, was educated at local schools, and after reading law was admitted (1803) to the bar. Van Buren served in the U.S. Senate, where he firmly backed the tariffs of 1824 and 1828. In 1828 he was elected governor of New York state but resigned in 1829 to become Jackson’s Secretary of State. As President, Van Buren announced his intention of following Jackson’s policies, but the Panic of 1837 and the hard times that followed brought Van Buren a great deal of unpopularity. He was again the presidential candidate of the Democratic party in 1840, but he was defeated by William Henry Harrison.

Fun Facts and Trivia about Martin Van Buren

When was Martin Van Buren born: December 5, 1782
Where was Martin Van Buren born: Kinderhook, NY
Where did Martin Van Buren go to college: no college
What religion was Martin Van Buren: Dutch Reformed
What was Martin Van Buren profession: Lawyer
Who was Martin Van Buren married to: Hannah Hoes Van Buren
What number president was Martin Van Buren: 8th
What political party did Martin Van Buren belong to: Democrat
Who was Martin Van Buren’s vice president: Richard M. Johnson
When was Martin Van Buren president: 1837 – 1841
Where is Martin Van Buren buried: Kinderhook, NY
Martin Van Buren was the first president to be born an American citizen, his predecessors having been born British subjects before the American Revolution.
Martin Van Buren was the only president who did not speak English as his first language

Martin Van Buren Quotes

  • “It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.”
  • “The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity”
  • “To avoid the necessity of a permanent debt and its inevitable consequences, I have advocated and endeavored to carry into effect the policy of confining the appropriations for the public service to such objects only as are clearly with the constitutional authority of the Federal Government.”
  • “Between Russia and the United States sentiments of good will continue to be mutually cherished. “
  • “If laws acting upon private interests can not always be avoided, they should be confined within the narrowest limits, and left wherever possible to the legislatures of the States. “

Timeline of the Life of Martin Van Buren

1782 Born in Kinderhook, N.Y.
1807 Married Hannah Hoes.
1812 Elected to the New York Senate.
1819 Hannah Hoes Van Buren died.
1821 Elected to the United States Senate.
1828 Elected Governor of New York.
1829 Appointed Secretary of State.
1832 Elected Vice-President of the Untied States.
1836 Elected President of the United States.
1837 First Great Depression paralyzed the U.S. economy.
1838 Iowa became a territory.
1838 The Underground Railroad began.
1839 The first Normal School organized in the U.S. open in Massachusetts.
1840 Defeated for re-election as president by William H. Harrison.
1848 Nominated for President by the Free Soil Party.
1862 Died in Kinderhook, N.Y.