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 received by this days mail your letter of the 7th. Inst. but hardly ^know^ where to address you. You do not state at any place, and was it not for the apology you make for your indisposition I should hardly know how to account for your omission to let me know where you are. I have heard you was in New York. But the post mark ^of your letter^ is Philadelphia. And the only way I can account... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I wished much for an opportunity to converse with you while in Newyork on the Subject of a proposition made to me by Mr Buel in regard to the purchase of the Argus establishment, which he wishes to dispose of to some person with the approbation of his friends in Albany. If it should be agreeable to yourself & some others of our friends & the terms of purchase be not too high, I would... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Your last Draft for $125 was yesterday presented to me & I was under the necessity of giving my note for it payable at the Bank in sixty days which I hope you will not fail to take up. I wish you would without giving yourself any uneasiness enable me to realise the advances made last Winter. I insist upon it that you suffer the circumstance to give you no pain but only to understand that I am... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
I am almost ashamed to write you after so long neglecting it, but if ever a poor devil had excuses good & numerous it is me. Untill three or four weeks since I have laboured with holy zeal, and almost more than human Industry to rid this devoted State of a Junta which sit like the night mare upon her & which is loathed & despised by all whose good opinion is worth having except the... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Gorham Akin Worth
I enclose to you a copy of your letter to me relative to Post Masters. I have just received this copy from the General Post Office. I do not see that you have any thing to regret in having so earnestly desired the removal of officers who were by you believed to have violated their official duty in relation to papers &c.
Recipient: MVB
I have concluded to trouble you once more about my business with my brother William. I am sorry to be under the necessity of doing this, as I know you have as much business of your own as you can attend to, but there is no other person who can assist me so effectually as you can, and you may rely upon it, that if ever an opportunity occurs, I will return the favor. I understand that my brother... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I have waited a few days to answer your letter in the hope that I might be able to say something more than general declarations of friendship and a strong desire to serve you amount to but I have waited in vain, I do not know at this moment of any precise manner in which I we could serve you if you were on the spot. I should however be disappointed if in the course of a short time it is not in... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Gorham Akin Worth
The above are copies of the Statements I prepared and presented to the Counsel associated with yo in the Cause referred to in them for their Signatures. Mr Jones objected to signing the first because it brought him into conflict with the letter of Mr Varick as to whom he was delicately situated then having been a long and intimate friendship between his father and Mr. V. The second he was willing... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
First Statement The charges made against Martin Van Buren Esqr on the management of the Cause of the People against John W. Thorn, Valentine N. Livingston & Henry D. Tracy, in an article signed one of the People & published in the Statesman of the 13th instant are unfounded.  We as Counsel associated with Mr. Van Buren (then Atty Genl) concurred with him in the propriety of abanding the... Continue Reading
I feel gratefull for your attention to my concerns in regard t[o t]he base attack made on me in the Statesman. The last No. in that paper is so contemptible that my friends think it would unworthy of further notice, but as I cannot know when or in what shape the malice of my enemies may induce them for the want of better materials to revive the ridicul subject I wish you would copy off your... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
I have recd your letter of the 19th. inst and regret that you should be under the impression that the Letter relative to Post Masters was not properly exhibited by me to the Post Master General. That letter contains no language which you, considering the grievances complained of, ought to regret. It requests no improper course from the Departt. It speaks warmly of injurious facts. It is evident... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I have just received your letter of the 12th. Inst and owe you an apology for not having answered your last before this time. I have very unwell for some time past was for a fortnight unable to attend to business. This I know you will consider a sufficient apology especially as I had nothing of importance to write except what you will find in the public papers. I had received a letter from Mr... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I have persuaded Mr Phillips to send his second son to Canandaigua with materials for a new paper. He is 21 years of age & has been reading law in Philadelphia & with assistance will do well. A paper must be established there. He will leave this in a week I shall give him a few lines to you & our friends in Albany & you must give him a few hints about that quarter & whats to... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Yours of the 20th inst was received in due course of mail. I entirely concur in the propriety of your course as to the publication of Varicks letter. it The venom is of that Calumny was destroyed by the light, and I congratulate you upon the probable result of the ballot for Senator. There have been indications of a determination the part of two or three of the members from this City not to... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
at that dark day to <our> <state> ^disgracefull period <by> in the history of our <State>^, to which every good man revisits with humiliation & regret, when our halls of Legislation were basely contaminated, when within their Walls "corruption boiled & bubbled like a [ste]w when [. . .] and stubborn [. . .] were out-faced & Vanquished by pimps & panders—... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
I am informed that you declined signing the resolutions which were sent to Washington upon the subject of the Missouri question, upon the ground that you never authorised your name to be used as one of the Committee on that occasion. Before any steps were taken on the subject I called upon you myself, to learn if you was willing to be one of that Committee; you replied that you was so much... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
What can be the reason I cant hear from you occasionally. Is your time so much taken up in matters of more importance, that you have no leisure to write or are you afraid your letters will get into the hands of your Friend the Governor? I think you need not be ashamed of your postmaster letter. You know the rule of law is that you must take the whole story together, and assuming your charges to... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I called to pay my respects this morning as I leave town this day but you were not at home. I beg you to believe that I am sensibly obliged by your friendly attentions & shall take an opportunity of expressing the same more fully. I should feel regret at the hostility evinced by part of the delegation towards me if I thought that my political & personal conduct authorised it. Not thinking... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I offer you my cordial congratulations on your appointment to the Senate: Mr. Sanford without doubt feels the disappointment, but bears it without complaint, at least I hear of none. From you and others I have been in expectation of the arrival here of Mr Rensselaer, but he has not yet come. I shall avail myself of the earliest opportunity to express to him such opinions relative to our state... Continue Reading
Sender: Rufus King
Recipient: MVB
You once promised to consider me as a Client, I have addressed you as such, and as a friend, but you have been as silent as the Tombs, I now address you as a Gentleman, without any wish of drawing you into a correspondence, but Sir as you have done me and the Orphans under my protection, a serious injury, I trust you will not hesitate to use your exertion in repairing the injury you have done, by... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
You have been much deceived by the information that you had been represented to me as an “anti Bucktail” and are wholly mistaken in your impression that entertain other feelings than those of friendly regard for you. Although my acquaintance with you has been very limited I have always heard you spoken of as an ardent and undeviating Republican and nothing certainly would give me greater pleasure... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Your letter announcing my nomination for the convention, by the Republican Delegates of the county of Otsego has been duly received. I have been frequently requested to permit my name to be offered for the support of our politic as a candidate for the office of delegate to the convention, in some one of the counties in which our Republican political friends constitute the majority: But believing... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Elisha Foote
I regret that I have not been able to go to Albany, and now it is so late that I have given up all intentions of going. Your proceedings in Convention, are fully reported, and are very interesting. But the appointing power! What is to be done with that? I do not like your report, neither as it respects the state or the city. The present appointing power is to be abolished 1st. because it is too... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I had the pleasure yesterday of receiving your letter of the 15th Inst, and am happy at the occasion it affords me of using my endeavours to restore that friendly intercourse between yourself & Judge Skinner, which ought not, from any thing that has happend within my knowledge, to continue suspended. I am still of the same belief, as expressed to you previous to your leaving this City, that... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I had the pleasure of writing you on Friday last in reply to your letter of 15th. Inst; but in my earnestness on the subject of that letter, I omitted suggesting, at that time, an idea that has lately presented ^itself^ to my mind, and which has, with other matters, no doubt had a share of your reflection. The subject of Roads & Canals, it appears, is again on the carpet at Washington: Now,... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Having been informed by your note of this morning that the present deputy post master at Albany is to be removed, we have to request that the appointment of his successor may be delayed long enough to enable the Citizens of that place to express their wishes on the Subject. We do this in consideration of the importance of the appointment and under a conviction that they are not apprized that a... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB, Sender: Rufus King

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