National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Papers of Martin Van Buren

Cumberland University

Additional information:

A selective edition of the papers of Martin Van Buren (1782–1862), eighth President of the United States (1837–1841). A founder of the Democratic Party, he served as Governor of New York, Secretary of State, and Vice President. Van Buren won the 1836 presidential election and served one term. He lost his 1840 reelection bid to Whig Party nominee William Henry Harrison due in part to the poor economic conditions of the Panic of 1837. Later in his life, Van Buren emerged as an important anti-slavery leader and led the Free Soil ticket in the 1848 presidential election. His papers include general correspondence and miscellaneous documents that shed useful light on the evolution of the American political system and the operation of government at various levels during the antebellum period.

The Papers of Martin Van Buren is a joint digital/print project that will make approximately 13,000 documents available online and through a one-volume print edition.

The NHPRC also funded a microfilm edition, sponsored at Pennsylvania State University. Additional information at

55 reels, 134-page guide

refer to caption


Martin Van Buren (1858) by George Peter Healy, Courtesy The White House


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