Martin Van Buren Fast Facts

Eighth President of the United States

President Van Buren. Getty Images

Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) served one term as president. During his time in office, no major events occurred. However, he was criticized for his handling of the Second Seminole War. 

Here is a quick list of fast facts for Martin Van Buren.
For more in depth information, you can also read the: Martin Van Buren Biography


December 5, 1782


July 24, 1862

Term of Office:

March 4, 1837-March 3, 1841

Number of Terms Elected:

1 Term

First Lady:

Widower. His wife, Hannah Hoes, died in 1819.


"Little Magician"; "Martin Van Ruin"

Martin Van Buren Quote:

"As to the Presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it. "

Major Events While in Office:

  • Panic of 1837 (1837)
  • Caroline Affair (1837)
  • Second Seminole War (1835-1842)

Van Buren is considered by many historians to be an average president. No major events occurred during his term of office. However the Panic of 1837 did eventually lead to an Independent Treasury. In addition, Van Buren's position about the Caroline Affair allowed the US to avoid open warfare with Canada.

The Caroline Affair occurred in 1837 when a US steamship called the Caroline travelled to a site on Niagara River. Men and supplies were being sent to Upper Canada to help William Lyon Mackenzie who was leading a rebellion. There were a number of American sympathizers who wanted to help him and his followers. However, in December of that year, Canadians came into US territory and sent the Caroline adrift over Niagara Falls, killing one US citizen. Many Americans were upset over the incident. The Robert Peel, a British steamship, was attacked and burned. In addition, a number of Americans began raiding over the border. Van Buren sent General Winfield Scott to help stop Americans from retaliating. President Van Buren was responsible for delaying the admission of Texas to the Union in order to help maintain sectional balance. 

However, Van Buren's administration was criticized for their handling of the Second Seminole War. The Seminole Indians resisted the removal from their lands, even after Chief Osceola was killed in 1838. The continued fighting led to the death of thousands of Native Americans. The Whig Party was able to use the inhumane campaign in their fight against Van Buren.

Related Martin Van Buren Resources:

These additional resources on Martin Van Buren can provide you with further information about the president and his times.

Martin Van Buren Biography
Take a more in depth look at the Eighth president of the United States through this biography. You'll learn about his childhood, family, early career, and the major events of his administration.

Chart of Presidents and Vice Presidents
This informative chart gives quick reference information on the Presidents, Vice-Presidents, their terms of office, and their political parties.

Other Presidential Fast Facts: