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Martin Van Buren


Born in Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York. Admitted to the New York bar in 1803. Married a distant cousin, Hannah Hoes, February 21, 1807. She died 12 years later. They had three children.

Elected to the United States Senate serving March 4, 1821, to December 20, 1828. He resigned to run for Governor. Elected Governor of New York in 1929 but resigned to accept a Presidential appointment.

Appointed Secretary of State under President Jackson serving 1829 to 1831. In 1832 he was elected Vice President under Jackson serving March 4, 1833, to March 3, 1837. Elected President over William Henry Harrison. He was inaugurated March 4, 1837, and served until March 3, 1841. In his inaugural speech he stated, "I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men. In receiving from the people the sacred trust twice confided in my illustrious predecessor." This was a reference to Andrew Jackson and would appear on the later Jackson cents also know as Hard Times Tokens. Van Buren inherited the financial problems of the Jackson administration. Those problems led to the panic of 1837 and the hoarding of sound coins. Van Buren did not receive his party nomination for reelection.

Van Buren was known as "Old Kinderhook" and was associated with the expression O.K., a phrase that was used both for and against Van Buren in the 1840 campaign. He died in Kinderhook, New York.

Van Buren appears on paper money:

$5 Mechanics Bank, Concord, New Hampshire

Van Buren appears on the Indian Peace medal in three sizes. The small 51 mm medal (Julian IP-19), medium 62 mm medal (Julian IP-18) and the large 76 mm medal (Julian IP-17) that was part of the series sold to collectors. The mint continues to sell modern copies (USM-108).

An inaugural medal (Julian PR-6) was issued using the obverse die from the 62 mm Indian Peace Medal.

The Martin Van Buren presidential dollar coin was issued November 13, 2008.

bio: ApCAB; BDC; BDEB; DAB; Drake; EAB; Failor; Loubat; NCAB 6; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-H

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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