Martin Van Buren


December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862

Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was born in mostly-Dutch-speaking Kinderhook, NY in 1782. He was the first U.S. President to be born AFTER the country had declared its independence from Britain. He was 5’6″. And, because of his upbringing, was the only President to speak English as a second language.

But, fun factoids do not a great president make. Despite a successful political career serving as Governor of New York, a U.S. Senator and as Vice-President to Andrew Jackson, Van Buren’s stint in office was largely ineffectual. He did no favors for slaves (though, he was increasingly anti-slavery) and Native Americans in his policies. He wanted nothing to do with admitting Texas into the Union. And, he had no answer for the Panic of 1837 that sent the country into a years-long recession. He was defeated in his reelection bid by Whig candidate, William Henry Harrison, but undertook a number of later attempts at getting back to the White House. He never succeeded. After remaining in the public and being a fairly loud voice in American politics throughout his later years, Van Buren died in his home after a bout of pneumonia. He was 72 years old.


Kinderhook Cemetery – Kinderhook NY


Specific Location

On the east side of Albany Ave., there is a small gravel pull-out. From this parking spot, President Van Buren’s grave is clearly marked with signs. It’s the large obelisk in the center of this section.



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