Project director and co-editor Mark R. Cheathem is professor of history and history program coordinator at Cumberland University. He is the author or editor of five books and several articles and essays on the Jacksonian and Civil War eras. Four of his books engage directly with the political era with which Van Buren is associated. One, Andrew Jackson, Southerner (2013), is an award-winning biography of the seventh president and leading Democratic statesman with whom Van Buren was closely aligned. A second book, Andrew Jackson and the Rise of the Democrats (2015), focuses specifically on the development of the Democratic party. Cheathem’s current book projects include a study of Jacksonian political culture, using the 1840 presidential election as its framework, and a study of the 1844 presidential election.
Project co-editor James Bradley has been a journalist and editor for more than 20 years, contributing to The Village Voice, The New York Observer, and New York Newsday, among other publications. He has been an editor at Time Inc. since 1998. For five years, he was the senior project editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City, published by Yale University Press, now in its second edition. He is currently at work on a biography of Van Buren. He has a home in the Hudson Valley and often visits the Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook to do research.
Students and volunteers who have assisted the project include: