Organization of Documents

The current corpus of letters from which we are working is the Papers of Martin Van Buren microfilm edition, completed at Pennsylvania State University between 1969 and 1987.

The editors have organized the digital portion of this project into fourteen discrete series and have identified the major topics in each series:

  1. Kinderhook Years (Dec. 1782-Dec. 1811): Childhood and time as lawyer and local politician.
  2. Albany Years (Jan. 1812-16 Feb. 1815): State senator and War of 1812 prosecutor.
  3. Attorney General and Party Leader (17 Feb. 1815-Dec. 1820): Attorney general, state senator, founder of Albany Regency, member of state constitutional convention.
  4. U.S. Senator (Jan. 1821-Dec. 1824): U.S. Senator, supporter of William Crawford for president in 1824 election.
  5. U.S. Senate (Jan. 1825-3 March 1829): Support for Jackson, formation of Jacksonian Democratic coalition, election of 1828, NY gubernatorial tenure.
  6. U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Minister to England (4 March 1829-3 March 1833): Jackson’s secretary of state, Eaton affair, minister to England, vice-presidential candidate in 1832 election.
  7. Vice President (4 March 1833-3 March 1837): Jackson’s vice president, Bank War, 1836 election.
  8. President, pt. 1 (4 March 1837-Dec. 1837): Panic of 1837, independent treasury, Indian Removal, etc.
  9. President, pt. 2 (Jan.-Dec. 1838): Economic issues, independent treasury, Indian removal, etc.
  10. President, pt. 3 (Jan.-Dec. 1839): Panic of 1839, independent treasury, border conflicts, campaign tour through mid-Atlantic states, etc.
  11. President, pt. 4 (Jan. 1840-4 March 1841): Independent treasury, border conflicts, Amistad case, 1840 election.
  12. Defeat and 1844 Campaign (5 March 1841-Dec. 1845): Return to Kinderhook, 1842 national tour, Texas annexation, 1844 Democratic convention, 1844 election.
  13. Move to Free Soil Party (Jan. 1845-Dec. 1848): Break from Polk and Democratic Party, Free Soil Party nomination, 1848 election.
  14. Retirement (Jan. 1849-24 July 1862): Farming, family life, political correspondence, support for Lincoln in Civil War, death.

Additional documents included in the microfilm edition, but dated outside of the chronological scope of the previous series or not defined as Van Buren documents, will be incorporated into the appropriate series above. The same principle holds true for any new documents not included in the microfilm edition that come to the editors’ attention through a search for new documents.

Where possible, we have linked digital images of transcribed documents. Most of these images come from the Library of Congress documents, which are in the public domain. If there is not a digital image accompanying a transcription, then it is very likely that we do not have permission to post it on our website.

Note: Visit here for the original series organization (Feb. 2016-Dec. 2018).