Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862), nicknamed "Old Kinderhook", was the eighth President of the United States of America. He was the first President born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first not of British descent, and the only U.S. president whose first language was not English (it was Dutch).
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Inaugural address (1837)
- Martin Van Buren's Inaugural Address (March 4, 1837)
- I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men... in receiving from the people the sacred trust confided to my illustrious predecessor.
- All the lessons of history and experience must be lost upon us if we are content to trust alone to the peculiar advantages we happen to possess.
Quotes about Van Buren
- The 'George Bush' of Jacksonian Democracy. Van Buren was the first President whose experience was exclusively as a politician. The Jeffersonian Presidents had all been Secretaries of State, and all except Madison had held important foreign diplomatic positions. Adams had also been a diplomat. Washington and Jackson, of course, were distinguished as military men. So van Buren was the first pure politician and, not surprisingly, had a reputation as a manipulator. Groomed as Jackson's successor, van Buren nevertheless could not manipulate himself into a second term against the war hero Harrison. Portrayed as an opportunistic fool in Amistad, van Buren was not that bad, but it did mean the first loss of the Presidency to an Opposition Party since Adams lost to Jefferson in 1800. So far, every Vice President to succeed his President by election (Jefferson, Adams, van Buren, Bush) has failed to be re-elected, except Jefferson (who was the last Vice President to be from the Opposition Party to his President).
- Kelley L. Ross, as quoted in The Great Republic: Presidents and States of the United States (2012).