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Martin Van Buren


“The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity.”
“The principle that will govern me in the high duty to which my country calls me is a strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the Constitution as it was designed by those who framed it.”
Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States, was the first to be born as a U.S. citizen. The previous Presidents were born on American soil, but they were born subjects to the British crown (Great Britain owned America). Born in a close-knit Dutch community in New York, Van Buren finished his schooling at the age of 14, after which he studied law. Van Buren opened his own law office when he was 21 and married his childhood sweetheart, Hannah Hoes. He served as Senator, Governor of New York, and Vice President and Secretary of State during Andrew Jackson’s presidency.

Kids Science Fun Facts All about Martin Van Buren – 8th U.S. President

Fun Facts

  • Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook, New York. Martin Van Buren was only 5 feet 6 inches tall. He dressed very well and was friendly and popular.
  • He was a shrewd politician. He earned loyalty from his supporters by giving them jobs.
  • Martin gained many nicknames as a politician. He was called, “Little Magician,” “Enchanter,” and “Red Fox of Kinderhook.”
  • Van Buren’s supporters formed the “O.K. Club,” named after Van Buren’s nickname, “Old Kinderhook.” Since then, O.K., or okay, has come to mean “all right.”
  • Three months after Van Buren became President, the nation experienced a financial collapse that lasted five years. Van Buren’s policies made the problem worse.
  • During Van Buren’s presidency, federal troops drove 15,000 Cherokees from their homes in Georgia to Oklahoma. One-third of the Native Americans died on this journey. The U.S. also fought against the Seminole Indians in Florida, forcing them to leave their lands.
  • Martin Van Buren served only one term as President. He lost the bid for reelection.

Questions and Answers
Question: Did Martin Van Buren’s wife serve as First Lady?
Answer: Hannah Van Buren died of tuberculosis in 1819, eighteen years before Van Buren became President. The couple had five sons, and one daughter, although only four sons lived to be adults. Van Buren never remarried and he never spoke publicly of his wife.
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