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:

I have the pleasure of informing you that in the city of Albany, we have gained 82 Votes. The 35 in Bethlehem, & divided Rensselaerville, & from wh the information received from the other towns, without being able to Calculate accurately, we shall razee the majority in Albany County from 300 to 500 Votes. A most extraordinary & shameful vote combination was formed to erase your name... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
You must not for a moment think hard of my not writing you before, you know the State of my family when you left me, it has continued afflicted by sickness to nearly the same extent since. Mrs. VBun, John, & myself are better but to make up for it little Martin has been taken down by a fever with which he is yet confined to his mothers lap. For the first time since you left here I have made... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Gorham Akin Worth
Remarks on the great Canals extracted from the various publications on the Subject.  Serious appeal Benefit of Canal to NYork & Albany. utility I. Division of trade of onieda, Onandago, Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Genesee, Niagara, Chatauqua & Cattaraugus from Montreal to them.  2d. This trade consists of  Ist. Grain viz at present supposed to be if one tenth is under cultivation to 3.... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Your mother will give you some money from Schoharie which I hope will enable you to make out. I have no possible objection to indorse for you but I doubt whether a discount could be obtained here. You must not deviate from your engagements relative to the note. Necessity does not so readily absolve stipulation as you seem to suppose. I will not go from home for some time
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Peter I. Hoes
Your last epistle on the subject of Newyork politcs has served ^only^ to add demonstration to my previous conviction that you are totally and deplorably ignorant of not only of Mr Clinton (I mention ^him^ first out of compaisance to you) but of the State, her political Interests and the Sentiments and views of her citizens, & that when you meddle at all with politics you are so wholly ^as I... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Gorham Akin Worth
The Republican members of the Legislature have had a meeting here and with great unanimity nominated the Vice President as our candidate for Governor, of which notice has been sent to him. Some of our friends think it is dangerous to support him under existing circumstances and all apprehend that he may decline and that his doing so, would throw us into great confusion unless we could be... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Rufus King
The distresses of our country, produc[ed first] by the flood, then by the ebb of bank paper are such [as cannot] fail to engage the interposition of the Legislature. [Many] propositions will of course be offered, from all of which [some]thing may probably be culled to make a good whole. I exp[lained] to you my project, when I had the pleasure of possessing yo[u] here; and I now send its outline... Continue Reading
From the various representations which have been made to me in regard to malpractices of the Postmaster at norwich I must cordially unite with Mr. Van Buren in recommending his removal and the appointment of Lot Clark
The proceeding are the answers of G. W. P. and Aug J. P to your questions, of which a copy is prepared.  The general rule as to <illegible> is undoubtedly as the atty genl. States. There can be no objection to the proposed amendment. Perhaps it may be deemed necessary. We can hereafter provide for the trial of issues of fact if any should be joined.  In the suit of Simons (in Chany) so many... Continue Reading
Sender: Aaron Burr
You will be a little surprised at receiving this letter from one who is hors de combat of the Politicks of this State Presuming however upon the portion of your confidence that I enjoy and the partial knowledge of your views whi[ch] I gathered from our recent conversation <illegible> I venture to inform you that my political friends and the Clintonians are out of humour with each other... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I am under particular obligations to you for your friendly letters. As my evil genius would have it, I was taken quite unwell when the bad news from the West came pouring in upon us, and, though very sick, was obliged to keep my head up although fit only for the bed. I am now, however, quite recovered, and our friends here have recovered from their first panic and begin to estimate as they ought... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Mr. Catlin has resigned the Cashiership of the Branch Bank, and our friends the Duers are very anxious to have Mr. Robinson appointed. Mr. Gracie has left my room this moment and is very anxious that you should come down and go with them. I hope you will by no means fail to come down with the next boat. I shall be detained here until the latter end of the next week waiting for the Secretary of... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
I recd. yours of this morning & in reply have only to say, that if the Gentlemen who our friends support for the Council could be induced to ob make any stipulation either who they should would appoint or who they would or would not remove as an Inducement for their support, I would not only oppose them to the extend of my means but would publicly upraid them for their profligacy. I thought I... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Reflecting upon the occurance of last evening, Mr. Mc. In[t]yres case ought to have been brought up by me in a very different manner from what it was, assurances ought then to have been required that he should not be removed from his office, by the council about to be made, I feel a strong conviction that he is an honest and upright man, ^&^ a great proportion of this community are of the... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
"Nor can I conceal on this occasion the deep anxiety which I feel in a subject now under the consideration of the General Government and which is unfortunately calculated to produce geographical distinctions. Highly important as it is to allay feelings so inauspicious & to cultivate the most friendly relations communion with every member of the confederacy, yet I consider the interdiction of... Continue Reading
I am delighted with your <Phasion> but think the publication of them should be delayed for sometime and then be published in rapid succession I wish therefore you would prepare them all and send them down me
Sender: MVB
It is due to Genl. Brown & also to the inoffensiveness of my own motives at least, that I should state, that I have no doubt the observations in relation to your conversation with Genl. Brown which have appeared in the public prints, originated from some familiar communications made by me, and I feel equally with you, hurt & surprised at the use which has been made of them. Although from... Continue Reading
Recipient: Ambrose Spencer
I have just recd. yours of the 12th. I must deal frankly and especially with all who may unjustly claim that I shd. discard Rumor in writing to him on a subject, personally as well as politically of great moment. You cannot be ignorant of the course that I have, even at first with some hesitation, believed it to be my Duty to pursue relative to the Missouri question. That discussion has revealed... Continue Reading
Sender: Rufus King
Recipient: MVB
Mr Cantine handed me two Bonds the one a blank one the other executed by you and <illegible> so as to be executed by me also, the one executed by you Cantine informs me is incorrect and if I <execute> any he wishes me to sign the Blank one or in other words the one that you have not yet signed. I have reflected much on the subject and have put the most favourable construction on that... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Know all men by these presents that we Martin Van Buren and Peter I. Hoes are held and firmly bound to Jesse Buel in the sum of three thousand Dollars to be paid to the said Jesse Buel his executors administators or assigns, for which payment well and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs executors & administators firmly by these presents, seald with our seals Dated, 17th July 1820.... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB, Sender: Peter I. Hoes
I rcd. your letter I confess with unfeigned mortification & I hope upon your reflection you will think that you have done very wrong in making the request of me contained in your letter. Can you tell give me any earthly reason why your becoming bail for Mr. Cantine is a favour to me or why I should give you counter security? Do you suppose that my credit is so doubtfull that if I would... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Peter I. Hoes
Second Statement In the Cause of the People against John W. Thorne Valentine N. Livingston & Henry D. Tracy, the undersigned were associated as Counsel for the prosecution with Martin Van Buren Esquire, (then Atty Genl). The accused were indicted for a conspiracy to defraud the Merchants Bank in the City of New York. The Cause was prepared for trial by Peter Jay Munro Esquire, but as he was a... Continue Reading
I left home on monday last, & shall return again tomorrow. I had hoped to have seen Evans, either on my way out, or at this place, & to have had some conversation with him on several of the subjects that are to occupy the Legislature next week, but I have not been so fortunate as to meet him. It is the intention, I presume, of our friends, & I heartily concur with them, to retaliate... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
There is a transient ship in sight, which is sending us a small boat & I avail myself of the chance, to say that we are now eight days out—had a delightful run to the Banks, but (as if all the Banks but 'Linn' were determined to obstruct all public and private business) we have been rotting about since Friday night in almost a dead calm on the Banks of Newfoundland. The wind is now ahead but... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
You will recollect the strong complaints I made to you against Judge Skinner. The caucus which produced them had made so deep an impression on my mind that I had determined at New York to cut all future interocurse with him. On my arrival there my conduct appeared to me to satisfy him that such was my desire. We were however placed in the same room which I endeavored to avoid but found that I... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
A dispute took place here a few days since between the French and British Ministers which produced considerable exictement ^and^ of which the most erroneous and extravagant accounts are in circulation. It took place at the President's dinner at which all the foreign ministers were guests. There are so many different accounts of the transaction given here that it is next to impossible to ascertain... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB

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