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 had the Honor to receive yours of yesterday. It has become necessary to appoint a new Postmaster at Albany. An application made by Freinds of Gen Van Rensalaer is now before the President for his Consideration. It is desirable that an appointment should be made without much delay.
Recipient: MVB , Recipient: Rufus King
We have been informed that it is in contemplation to vacate the office of deputy postmaster for the City of Albany. The importance of the Station not only to the Citizens of Albany (but from the circumstance of its being the principal distributing office in the State) to our Citizens generally induces us to request that we may be informed of the determination of your department before the vacancy... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB, Sender: Rufus King
I have the Honor [to] state in reply to yours of this date that the President has not decided or directed in the Case of the expected Vacancy of the office of Post master at Albany. It is desirable that a new Post master should be appointed without much delay. If the President thinks proper to have the Appointment delayed, it will be so. The President this day refer'd me to the Secy of the navy... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB , Recipient: Rufus King
The enclosed letters explain our wishes & the object of this application. If the delay we ask can be granted we would be much obliged by being apprized of it in season to write home by tomorrows mail. Sensible of the deep interest which our Citizens will for a variety ^of reasons^ take in the question I would much regret a decision without affording them a farther opportunity to be farther... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
I wrote to you this day, and put the letter in the Post Office here, but as I entertain strong suspicions that the letter to you, together with others may not get safely out of Albany, I avail myself of an opportunity of sending one to Catskill to be mailed there: The subject was respecting the office of post Master in this city: Solomon Van Rensselaer has written home that the removal is to take... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I do not deem it expedient to delay the appointment of a postmaster at Albany. I can have certainly no objection to receive from you any communication which you may be pleased to make on that subject.
Recipient: MVB
I have received your letter requesting a postponement of any appointment to the vacancy in the post office at Albany for a specific term. As this case is connected with others of the post office department, I have on that account, as well as my respect for you and the other gentlemen who have united in making the request, bestowed on it all the consideration which is justly merited. By the law... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Having understood from you that the post master at Albany was at all events to be removed, and sensible that such an event was not so known or expected by the Citizens of that place ^as^ to afford them an opportunity to express their wishes as to his successor, we on friday last united in a request for a postponement of the subject untill they could be apprized of the determination of your... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Your communication of yesterday I had the honor to receive, and to give it an attentive perusal & a respectful consideration. I regret that on a view of the whole subject I have not been able to accord with your views & opinions
Recipient: MVB
You can form no idea of the indignation of our friends, at the appointment of V. Rensselaer. How flattering this is, as a governmental eulogium on the council of appointment! How encouraging to republicans, to adhere to their party! But I cannot say more on this subject. Let Return Jonathan Meigs receive the reward of his deeds hereafter. More than his predecessor will he be execrated by the... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
To your question respecting chief Justice (with gratefull ^proper^ impressions of your friendly feelings in the matter) I say ^answe^ no. The situation in which by the favour of the State I have been placed is perfectly satisfactory to me, and whatever others may from time to time have for mischievous purposes suggested, I have not had, nor have I now, the least disposition to change it. On the... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB
Recipient: Erastus Root
A general meeting of the Republican Citizens of Albany, having been held on the 21st. instant, for the purpose of taking into consideration the recent appointment of Genl. Solomon Van Rensselaer, as Deputy Post Master for this city; we have the honor to forward to you by direction of the Committee appointed for that purpose <copies> a memorial & remonstrance addressed to the President... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Enclosed is the draft proceedings of our meeting. You will perceive that the last resolution for a committee was withdrawn, in order to conciliate those who were against any proceedings. The first preamble & resolution was unanimous, the others with about 6 dissentors. Notwithstanding the part I have acted in this affair, doubts exist in my mind as to the probable effects of the measures. But... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Your valuable letter of the 23d, I have received, and read with pleasure and attention. Although I am fully sensible of the great general advantages that may flow from our later proceedings here, yet I confess that considerable doubts suggest themselves as to what particular evils may be their consequence. Without disguise then, I fear that most of our present members of congress may be... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Nothing has happened since you left here, which will afford you any satisfaction to hear. Governor Yates is preparing to move. He has taken the Stafford house and some alterations are making to enlarge the lower rooms. It is rumoured that a caucus has been held in NewYork, while you was there, the object of which was, to mark out a path for the New Governor; I believe this rumour has reached his... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
The contracts for supplying oil for the U States Light Houses &c are to be closed on the 20th. among the offers made is one from Mr. Blunt of this City. I understand that a consideration in making these contracts is the punctuality with which they are performed as well as the rate offered. And being acquainted with the Character of Mr Blunt at the request of a friend of his, I take the... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
My practical exposition of the constitution in relation to the 1st. day of the session of the legislature for the present year has produced an enquiry which has resulted in a general expression opposite to the opinion of the Chief Justice. Even the concurring judge now non-concurs. But we shall not have a quorum in either house till Monday or Tuesday next. I can not muster enough for a "corporal'... Continue Reading
Sender: Erastus Root
Recipient: MVB
You will probably by this time begin to feel some anxiety as to the course of events in this quarter. Some of your correspondents have no doubt communicated to you, their hopes, and their fears. I am myself a calm observer, and wait with great composure for the moving of the Waters: Rumours we have, and in abundance; the real intentions of the Governor, if Known at all, are confided to the favor'... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
You will probably have seen before the rect of this the result of the election of Comptroller Genl Marcy prevailed by a handsome Majority over Tallmadge. This event has rendered every thing safe and tranquil, a different result could have placed the Senate in no small degree, under the managemt. of Cramer, Wheeler &c who were Tallmadges most zealous advocates. The political effects you will... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I received your favor of the 9th, last Evening & hasten to acknowledge it. Your views of the effect of certain proceedings here coincide with mine. My advice to the governor was not to accept the nomination of the old Judges after he found a decided majority of the Senators opposed to them. If he had sent the names of the federal bench in the first instance all difficulty would have been... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
The office of Navy Agent, at this place, has as I have just learnt, become vacant by the resignation of Genl. Robert Swartwout. As the duties of this office are such, as I could with great convenience perform, and as the compensation, attached to it, would be a very acceptable resource, I have requested my father, if he does not disapprove toit, to name me to the President and Secretary of the... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Since I last wrote to you, I have been almost blind with an inflamation in my eyes, which has entirely preventing me from writing. I had however written you a long letter in answer to your queries in Relation the Govr. & matters & things in general here which upon reflection I thought it wise to burn than to send, reserving its contents for personal communication when we meet, which I... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I presume you have by this time arrived at Albany and that as matter of course there will be pretty ^free^ communciation among our friends relative to the Presidential question. Your situation here has afforded you many opportunities of hearing and learning much of the views and feelings of others and your opinion will deservedly be entitled to great weight, and if I know myself I do not wish to... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
I wrote you a few days since a sober letter, and hope for an answer as early as your convenience will admit. Strange rumours are in circulation respecting you. It is said you have come out piping hot on the Presidential question. That you was daily in caucus with M L. Davis, Major O Conner Noah and others. And that you are going to Albany to have a meeting called and make a nomination at once.... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Your letter of the 21st. has just reached me. The President has been about for the last week, returned only yesterday, very little as yet has been said relative to filling the vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court. It rests entirely with myself whether I will take it or not it has been offered to me in a manner highly gratifying to my feelings. And I have no doubt with a sincere wish to save... Continue Reading
Recipient: MVB
Your letter found me here, and has detained me until this time. The reasons you give for declining the appointment of Judge are certainly impressive, and as a prominent one is the state of your health, no one can so well appreciate them as yourself. Still it is my decided opinion, that in comparison with your present station the Judgeship is under all circumstances the most desirable, and I... Continue Reading
Sender: MVB

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