MVB Papers (DLC)

"The Martin Van Buren Papers, one of twenty-three presidential collections in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, contains more than 6,000 items dating from 1787 to circa 1910.  The bulk of the material dates from the 1820s, when Van Buren (1782-1862) was a U.S. senator from New York, through his service as secretary of state and vice president in the Andrew Jackson administrations (1829-1837), to his own presidency (1837-1841) and through the decade thereafter when he made unsuccessful bids to return to the presidency with the Democratic and Free Soil parties.  Included are correspondence, autobiographical materials, notes and other writings, drafts of messages to Congress in 1837 and 1838, and other speeches, legal and estate records, miscellany, and family items.

The collection primarily consists of letters received by Van Buren from other individuals, as well as copies, drafts, transcripts, and photocopies of letters written by him.  Correspondents include George Bancroft, Thomas Hart Benton, Francis P. Blair, James Buchanan, law partner Benjamin F. Butler (1795-1858), Churchill C. Cambreleng, John A. Dix, John Fairfield, Azariah Cutting Flagg, Henry D. Gilpin, James Hamilton, Jr., Jesse Hoyt, Charles Jared Ingersoll, Andrew Jackson, Amos Kendall, William L. Marcy, Louis McClane, Richard Elliot Parker, James Kirke Paulding, Joel R. Poinsett, James K. Polk, Thomas Ritchie, William Cabell Rives, Andrew Stevenson, Levi Woodbury, and Silas Wright.

The Calendar of the Papers of Martin Van Buren created by Elizabeth Howard West for the Manuscript Division in 1910 provides a list and index for the general correspondence contained in the original collection up to that date. Some 150 letters received by the Library of Congress after 1910 are not represented in the calendar. These items have been interfiled within Series 2 of the collection. Typescripts of letters can also be found in Series 7, Miscellany.  A finding aid to the current Van Buren Papers collection is available online.

Note that this site is limited to the Martin Van Buren Papers collection and does not include all documents by, about, or related to Van Buren in the Library of Congress.  The Library’s Manuscript Division holds additional Van Buren-related documents pertaining to his family and his long and varied political career in New York and Washington, as well as his role in evolving party politics in his era. These documents are located in the collections of other individuals, including Andrew Jackson, Andrew Jackson Donelson, James K. Polk, William L. Marcy, William C. Rives, Charlotte Cushman, Duff Green, Reverdy Johnson, Andrew Stevenson, and Nicholas P. Trist, and in the family papers of the Blair, Bancroft-Bliss, Henry Clay, Samuel Smith, and Singleton families."

"This collection of Martin Van Buren Papers is arranged into eight series and oversize.  Series 8 of the collection contains the newer additions. These are grouped by the year the addition was received or processed as part of the collection.  The bulk of the collection was captured on 35 reels of microfilm, the scans of which comprise the bulk of this online collection.  A list of the series follows.

https://www.loc.gov/collections/martin-van-buren-papers/about-this-colle...

 

Documents in this Collection:

What, my Friend, is to be the state of politics? I do not like their present appearances. If we tie ourselves to the General Administration we shall go down with disgrace. Does Gov. Tompkins & Judge Tayler mean to lend a hand to our destruction and put themselves in lending strings to Madison Gallatin & Armstrong! If these gentlemen meditate the overthrow of the Clintonian party, whatever... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Your address will appear in the Advocate some day previous to Wednesday next and on that day will go out in the country Paper issued by that establishment. I told the Printer that the whole of it must appear in one Paper, and that it must not be broken up in pieces, which always injures the effect of a piece, unless be calculated expressly for that purpose. He has promised to comply with my... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I received your favour with the Inclosure. The various pieces for publication presented from all parts of the state prevented an Insertion in our paper. Our Accounts from the North & west are very flattering. J W Taylor from Saratoga mentions that they will do well. Mr Tiffany from Schoharie, says the same. A number of letters from the Western District, speak with Confidence. The federalists... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Fifty five days after date for Value Recd I promise to pay Jacob Van Ness on Order at the Bank of Hudson Six Hundred Dollars December 9th 1813
$1012 50/100 On or before the first day of January next I promise to pay Stephen Hogeboom or bearer Ten Hundred Twelve dollars 50/100 for Value Recie'd Stephen Miller Stock purchased by Stephen Miller of Stephen Hogeboom 50 Shares paid - - - - - $1012.50 Interest - - - - -  5 90     $1018–40 Benjn. Birdsall—10 Shares at 50 per Cent. to give J.J Miller 10 Shares at Par—VSlet &... Continue Reading
$225 Sixty days after date for Value recd. I promise to payBbenjamin Birdsal in order two hundred & twenty five Dollars for Value rcd. Decr 27th 1813
Sender: MVB
For value received I promise to pay Martin Van Buren and Stephen Miller on Order three thousand & thirty Dollars 25/100 thirty days after date. 1st Jany 1814
Recipient: MVB
Having been very recently appointed Special Judge advocate for the trial of Genl Hull and no officer of ^any^ very considerable rank or information in the North western army having as yet arrived in this City, I am considerably embarrased in making the arrangements preparatory to the trial. With a view to the arrival of the witnesses and for the purpose of enabling me to make the necessary... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
The President of the United States having ordered a General Court Martial for the Trial of Gen. Hull, and it being suggested that your Evidence will be material in the case, I am authorised and directed to Summon you immediately to appear, on behalf of the United States, before the General Court Martial, at the City of Albany, in the State of New-York. I am further authorised to assure you, that... Continue Reading
Mr Joseph Kline Bot. of T. OH Croswell 15 Shares Hudson Bank Stock $5 225 85 pr Cent advance— 191.25 Rd payment 416.25
The Court have for the trial of Genl. Wm. Hull were formed on the 13 3d. Inst. & adjourned to the 5th. when the Witnesses were called & but four viz [intentionally blank] attended the court has again adjourned untill the 12th. Inst. Mr VBur has accepted his appointmt & has entered upon the duties of his Station. I have sent notices to several officers of the Army who I learnt had not... Continue Reading
I have your Letter and shall act in all things conformable to your expectations having been absent 3 months in Ohio Kentucky & Indiana territory I have almost forgotten that I had the honor of a Seat in the Senate of New York, but the Proclamation which convenes us on the 26th. will enable me to renew the assurances of fidelity to your person and political elevation. I have never passed a... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I thank you for the message communicated by our mutual friend Mr Targee. It is a source of high gratification to me to find one of the first and earliest ^strongest^ pillars of the Republican party still firm on its base & prepared to sustain that large portion of the political edifice which has hitherto rested upon it. I sincerely hope you will not fail to promulgate your opinion on the... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Since the Day of my return, I have been so much occupied with cases growing out of the circuit—with answers in Chancery and other Matters which could not be turned over to Clerks, that not a second was devoted to your Subject⁠—Yesterday was sent a scrawl which will scarcely pay for the trouble of decyphering⁠—It will however bear testimony to my good will⁠– You will be obliged to conform to the... Continue Reading
Sender: Aaron Burr
Recipient: MVB
Severe indisposition prevented me taking my seat in the house of Representatives until Monday of this week. We are now all hands engaged devising ways & means to reestablish & maintain the public credit. The receipts from Import for the next year are estimated at four millions & from the existing Internal revinue & direct tax six millions. Additional revinue will be provided to... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
The more I reflect upon the subject the more I am satisfyed that the Jaunt proposed by you & the manner of making it would not answer the purpose intended. If Corns. goes with you, you will when fatigued which will doubtless be the case at first leave your horse and thus avoid that entire seasoning which would result from constant riding. When he returns from Philadelphia you would find it... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
I had the pleasure of receiving your letter this day read just at the moment of leaving Washington. I called on the Secretary of War and showed him your patriotic bill for placing NewYork in an attitude of defience with which he was much pleased. Virginia & other States will probably be induced to follow your example and Mr. Munroe has submitted a projet to the Military committee for raising... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Mr. Bishop will shew you an affidavit against Buel, which he wishes to ^will^ move by way of Resolutions this morning. It charges Buel with having loaned his types knowingly & willfully to counterfeit Army Bills. That Buel committed this base & infamous crime is certain. And if the Senate, with the record of it on their Journals, can vote for his appointment—Amen!
Recipient: MVB
I received by yesterday's Mail a double proof of your friendship, in manuscript and in print. I can pay no higher compliment to your production in the Argus than by telling you that your ingenuity and reason have far exceeded my expectations; for you know already that I expected much from you. I wrote you last week, but I presume in consequence of your absence you had not received my letter when... Continue Reading
Sender: Samuel Young
Recipient: MVB
You ask me to explain the indecisive course pursued by Congress. It is easily done, The cause is found in two words Constitution & Pride In regard to the Bank, there are about 25 Representatives favourable to the administration who stand committed against the constitutional power of Congress to incorporate a Bank whatever may be its restrictions & provisions. The opposition party is about... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I have received your letter of the 25th, and I immediately sit down to answer it. It is most unfortunate, that the Court Martial should take you from Albany, where you may be most wanted. I cannot help wishing the Court Martial to the devil, and you, some more pleasant and profitable employment, which would leave you at Albany, to act for the public good, and that of yourself and your friends. It... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
As yours without date was recd you might naturally conclude I should not wait until this [. . .] day to wish you a happy New Year but [. . .] I have as many employments as would befit a prime minister to a necromancer and am often forced from an Epistolary Confab with a friend by the infinite variety of my business & acquaintance–but I have bolted the Door this Evening that I might have a... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
You ask why letters were written in your ^my^ behalf for Senator, to members in different parts of the State & the matter kept a profound secret from my friend. My only answer is that they were written without my knowledge & that I did not desire the appointment. Some of my friends here informed me that they had written such letters. I felt unwilling to interfere with their wishes &... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Mr Sanford has recommended to you Roger Skinner Esqr. to supply the vacancy in the office of District Attorney for the State of Newyork produced by the ^his (Mr Sanfords)^ appointment of Mr Sanford to the Senate of the United States. I take the liberty of uniting with him in the recommendation of Mr Skinner and to express my solicitude for his appointment. He is in every respect qualifyed to... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: James Madison
I am much indebted to you for the continuation of our correspondence, and, expecting, daily, for some months past, to escape from the trifling & vexatious duties which occupied me, I intended, seizing, the first moments’ leisure to make you an apology for my apparent neglect. In your letter of the 9th instant you have been liberal enough to account for my silence. I need not trouble you with... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I have made arrangements for the payment of to <Mr> King the amount of his a/c you will therefore give yourself no further trouble on that Subject. I find there is no such thing as getting you to attend to Small matters now, and must therefore proceed to revive the Judgt against John [. . .] and Issue Execution for the [. . .] as taxed in doing which I do not [. . .] you will accuse me of... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB

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