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)
- The practice of all my predecessors imposes on me an obligation I cheerfully fulfill—to accompany the first and solemn act of my public trust with an avowal of the principles that will guide me in performing it and an expression of my feelings on assuming a charge so responsible and vast.
- How imperious, then, is the obligation imposed upon every citizen, in his own sphere of action, whether limited or extended, to exert himself in perpetuating a condition of things so singularly happy.
- From a small community we have risen to a people powerful in numbers and in strength; but with our increase has gone hand in hand the progress of just principles.
- 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.