Suggested Readings

This list of suggested readings is not comprehensive, but it provides a good overview of the sources available on Martin Van Buren and his life. Sources that have utilized our project are marked with an asterisk.

Primary Sources.

Bancroft, George. Martin Van Buren to the End of His Public Career (1889).

Butler, William A. Martin Van Buren: Lawyer, Statesman and Man (1862).

Cooney, John Ward. “My Recollections of Ex-President Martin Van Buren and His Friends.” Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California 9 (1912-1913): 28-33.

Crockett, David [Augustin Smith Clayton]. The Life of Martin Van Buren: Heir-Apparent to the “Government,” and the Appointed Successor of General Andrew Jackson (1835).

Dawson, Moses. Sketches of the Life of Martin Van Buren (1840).

Emmons, William. Biography of Martin Van Buren, Vice President of the United States (1835).

Ford, Worthington C., ed. “Van Buren-Bancroft Correspondence, 1830-1845.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 42 (June 1909): 381-442.

Friedenberg, Albert M. “The Correspondence of Jews with Martin Van Buren.” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society 22 (1914): 71-100.

Grund, Franz J. Martin Van Buren als Staatsmann und künftiger präsident der Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-Amerika (1835).

Holland, William M. The Life and Political Opinions of Martin Van Buren (1835).

Kohan, Carol E. “Martin Van Buren’s Journey Home in 1839: An Account by His Son.” New York History 68 (January 1987): 93-99.

McPherson, Elizabeth Gregory, ed. “Unpublished Letters from North Carolinians to Van Buren.” North Carolina Historical Review 15 (January 1938): 53-81.

________. “Unpublished Letters from North Carolinians to Van Buren.” North Carolina Historical Review 15 (April 1938): 131-155.

*Nelson, Ross. Letters to Martin Van Buren: An Edition of John Van Buren’s “Travel Journal for a Trip to Europe, 1838-1839” (2022).

Sketches of the Life and Public Services of Martin Van Buren: Comprehending the Principal Events in the History of His Illustrious Career (1836).

Van Buren, Martin. The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren. In Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918. Vol. 2., ed. John C. Fitzpatrick (1920).

________. Inquiry into the Origin and Course of Political Parties in the United States, ed. Abraham Van Buren and Smith Thompson Van Buren (1867).

________. Papers. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.

________. The Papers of Martin Van Buren (microfilm edition). Chadwyck-Healey, Inc. (1987).

Williams, William Henry, ed. “Ten Letters from William Harris Crawford to Martin Van Buren.” Georgia Historical Quarterly 49 (March 1965): 65-81.

Secondary Sources.

Alexander, Holmes. The American Talleyrand: The Career and Contemporaries of Martin Van Buren, Eighth President (1935).

Atkins, Jonathan M. “Van Buren and the Economic Collapse of the Late 1830s.” In A Companion to the Antebellum Presidents, 1837-1861, ed. Joel H. Silbey (2014).

Beard, William E. “The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren.” Tennessee Historical Magazine 6 (October 1920): 145-165.

Brooke, John L. Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson (2010).

Brown, Richard H. “‘Southern Planters and Plain Republicans of the North’: Martin Van Buren’s Formula for National Politics.” Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1955.

________. “The Still Muffled Oars of Martin Van Buren.” Reviews in American History 12 (December 1984): 490-494. [joint review of Niven, Martin Van Buren, and Wilson, Presidency of Martin Van Buren]

Butler, William A. Martin Van Buren: Lawyer, Statesman, and Man (1862).

*Cheathem, Mark R. "'It has caused me considerable embarrassment and not a little pain': The Ruptured Relationship of Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk." James K. Polk and His Time: Essays at the Conclusion of the Polk Project, ed. Michael D. Cohen (2022).

Cole, Donald B. Martin Van Buren and the American Political System (1984).

Cone, Leon W., Jr. “Martin Van Buren: The Architect of the Democratic Party, 1837-1840.” Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1951.

*Costello, Matthew. "The Enslaved Households of President Martin Van Buren." White House Historical Association (2019).

Curtis, James C. The Fox at Bay: Martin Van Buren and the Presidency, 1837-1841 (1970).

________. “In the Shadow of Old Hickory: The Political Travail of Martin Van Buren.” Journal of the Early Republic 1 (Fall 1981): 249-267.

*Duncan, Jason. "'Plain Catholics of the North': Martin Van Buren and the Politics of Religion, 1807–1836," U.S. Catholic Historian 38 (Winter 2020): 25-48. 

*Ellis, Richard J. Old Tip vs. the Sly Fox: The 1840 Election and the Making of a Partisan Nation (2020).

Gatell, Frank Otto. “Sober Second Thoughts on Van Buren, the Albany Regency, and the Wall Street Conspiracy.” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 53 (June 1966): 19-40.

Harrison, Joseph H., Jr. “Martin Van Buren and His Southern Supporters.” Journal of Southern History 22 (November 1956): 438-458.

Hummel, Jeffrey Rogers. “Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President.” The Independent Review 4 (Fall 1999): 255-281.

Huston, Reeve. Land and Freedom: Rural Society, Popular Protest, and Party Politics in Antebellum New York (2000).

________. “The ‘Little Magician’ After the Show: Martin Van Buren, Country Gentleman and Progressive Farmer, 1841-1862.” New York History 85 (Spring 2004): 93-121.

Irelan, John Robert. History of the Life, Administration and Times of Martin Van Buren (1887).

Leonard, Gerald. The Invention of Party Politics: Federalism, Popular Sovereignty, and Constitutional Development in Jacksonian Illinois (2002).

________. “Party as a ‘Political Safeguard of Federalism’: Martin Van Buren and the Constitutional Theory of Party Politics.” Rutgers Law Review 54 (Fall 2001): 221-281.

*Leonard, Gerald, and Saul Cornell, The Partisan Republic: Democracy, Exclusion, and the Fall of the Founders' Constitution, 1780s-1830s (2019).

Lucas, M. Philip. “Martin Van Buren as Party Leader and at Andrew Jackson’s Right Hand.” In A Companion to the Antebellum Presidents, 1837-1861, ed. Joel H. Silbey (2014).

Lynch, Dennis T. An Epoch and a Man: Martin Van Buren and His Times, 2 vols. (1929).

MacDonald, William. “The Jackson and Van Buren Papers.” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 17 (April 1906): 231-38.

McBride, Spencer W. “When Joseph Smith Met Martin Van Buren: Mormonism and the Politics of Religious Liberty in Nineteenth-Century America.” Church History 85 (March 2016): 150-158.

Mintz, Max M. “The Political Ideas of Martin Van Buren.” New York History 30 (October 1949): 422-448.

Morrison, Michael A. “Martin Van Buren, the Democracy, and the Partisan Politics of Texas Annexation.” Journal of Southern History 61 (November 1995): 695-724.

Mushkat, Jerome, and Joseph G. Rayback. Martin Van Buren: Law, Politics, and the Shaping of Republican Ideology (1997).

Nigro, Felix A. “The Van Buren Confirmation before the Senate.” Western Political Quarterly 14 (March 1961): 148-159.

Niven, John. Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics (1983).

Parks, Gordon Elliott. “Martin Van Buren and the Re-Organization of the Democratic Party, 1841-1844.” Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, 1965.

Pasley, Jeffrey L. “Minnows, Spies, and Aristocrats: The Social Crisis of Congress in the Age of Martin Van Buren.” Journal of the Early Republic 27 (Winter 2007): 599-653.

Rayback, Joseph G. “Martin Van Buren: His Place in the History of New York and the United States.” New York History 64 (April 1983): 120-135.

________. “Martin Van Buren’s Break with James K. Polk: The Record.” New York History 36 (January 1955): 51-62.

________. “Martin Van Buren’s Desire for Revenge in the Campaign of 1848.” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 40 (March 1954): 707-716.

________. “A Myth Re-Examined: Martin Van Buren’s Role in the Presidential Election of 1816.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 124, no. 2 (29 April 1980): 106-118.

Remini, Robert V. Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party (1959).

________. “Martin Van Buren and the Tariff of Abominations.” American Historical Review 63 (July 1958): 903-917.

Roper, Donald M. “Martin Van Buren as Tocqueville’s Lawyer: The Jurisprudence of Politics.” Journal of the Early Republic 2 (Summer 1982): 169-189.

Shade, William G. “‘The Most Delicate and Exciting Topics’: Martin Van Buren, Slavery, and the Election of 1836.” Journal of the Early Republic 18 (Fall 1998): 459-484.

Shepard, Edward M. Martin Van Buren (1888).

Silbey, Joel H. Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics (2005).

________. Party Over Section: The Rough and Ready Presidential Election of 1848 (2009).

Smith, Richard Williams. “The Career of Martin Van Buren in Connection with the Slavery Controversy Through the Election of 1840.” Ph.D. diss., Ohio State University, 1959.

Widmer, Ted. Martin Van Buren (2005).

Wilson, Major. “Lincoln and Van Buren in the Steps of the Fathers: Another Look at the Lyceum Address.” Civil War History 29 (September 1983): 197-211.

________. The Presidency of Martin Van Buren (1984).

Reference Sources.

Kohan, Carol E. Historic Furnishings Report for "Lindenwald" (1986)

Richards, Leonard L., Marla R. Miller, and Erik Gilg. A Return to His Native Town: Martin Van Buren's Life at Lindenwald, 1839-1862. A Historic Resource Study (2006).

Sloan, Irving J., ed. Martin Van Buren, 1782-1862: Chronology—Documents—Bibliographical Aids (1969).

West, Elizabeth Howard, comp. Calendar of the Papers of Martin Van Buren (1910).

West, Lucy Fisher, ed. The Papers of Martin Van Buren: Guide and Index to General Correspondence and Miscellaneous Documents (1989).