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Martin Van Buren: A Resource Guide

martin van burenMartin Van Buren, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front
1 print: engraving
[between 1860 and 1880]
Prints & Photographs Division
Reproduction Number:
LC-USZ62-120701

American Memory Historical Collections

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. Search in the bibliographic records and the Full Text to find items related to Martin Van Buren such as correspondence in which he expresses viewpoints on topics such as the Bank of the United States and abolition, 1840 election tickets and an 1848 election song sheet.

The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925

This collection includes a variety of publication types such as first-person narratives, promotional brochures, and early histories that capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century. Use the
Search Full Text option to search on the exact phrase Van Buren. Results include an array of documents reflecting interesting viewpoints of the social and political activities unfolding during the Van Buren administration. For example:

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U. S. Congressional Documents and Debates

This collection contains a large selection of congressional material related to Martin Van Buren's political career as a member of the U.S. Senate, Secretary of State, and President. Search this collection by date and type of publication to find materials related to Van Buren.

  • The Congressional Globe provides the text of congressional debates from Van Buren's service in the Senate (1821-28). It also contains the text of congressional debates and presidential messages from Van Buren's presidency (1837-41), including his First, Second, Third, and Fourth Annual Messages to Congress. The Register of Debates also contains congressional debates from 1824 to 1837.
  • Elliot's Debates is considered to be the best source for materials about the national government's transition period between the closing of the Constitutional Convention and the opening of the First Federal Congress. It also includes documents pertinent to discussions on the ratification of the nation's charters and interpretations of them. Van Buren's comments on Bankruptcy and the Judicial System as presented in the Constitution are found here.
  • The Senate Journal presents a copy of Van Buren's inaugural address delivered on March 4, 1837.
  • The United States Congressional Serial Set contains House and Senate documents and reports, including House Document 351, United States and Mexico, Message from the President of the United States, April 27, 1838.
  • The United States Statutes at Large contain the full text of all the laws enacted and treaties ratified during Van Buren's presidency, including the First Independent Treasury Act on July 4, 1840

"I Do Solemnly Swear...": Presidential Inaugurations

This collection includes items relating to presidential inaugurations including Martin Van Buren's inauguration in 1837.

The James Madison Papers, 1723-1836

The James Madison Papers include 33 items to, from, or related to Martin Van Buren. To find them, go to the collection's search page and search both the descriptive information and the full text on the exact phrase Van Buren.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals

This collection presents popular periodicals that have been digitized by Cornell University Library and the Library of Congress. They were selected because of their appeal to a general audience with an emphasis on literary and political topics. Search for articles relating to Martin Van Buren using the bibliographic record information or the Full Text option. Results include the following:

Slaves and the Courts 1740-1860

This collection contains more than 100 documents concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. Included are the arguments presented by John Quincy Adams and Roger S. Baldwin before the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the Amistad case which was tried during the Van Buren administration.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606-1827

The Thomas Jefferson Papers include 5 items of corresondence to, from, or related to Martin Van Buren. To find them, go to the collections search page and search on the exact phrase Van Buren.

Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

The Manuscript Division staff selected approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth to the mid-twentieth century to celebrate and honor their centennial in this online presentation. The following items are related to President Van Buren:

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  December 19, 2013
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