Martin Van Buren This is a good biography of President Martin Van Buren. It is from USA Presidents.
From the site:
Martin Van Buren ( December 5 , 1782 - July 24 , 1862 ) was the eighth ( 1833 - 1837 ) Vice President , the eighth ( 1837 - 1841 ) President of the United States and the first President born after the Declaration of Independence.
He was born in Kinderhook , New York of Dutch descent. His father Abraham Van Buren ( February 17 , 1737 - April 8 , 1817 ) was a farmer and tavern-keeper. His mother Maria Hoes ( February 27 , 1747 - February 16 , 1817 ) also had children from a previous marriage.
Martin's education was limited to that which could be obtained in the common schools and at Kinderhook Academy. In 1796 he began the study of law , completing his preparation in 1802 at New York , where he studied under William Peter Van Ness ( 1778 - 1826 ), an eminent lawyer and later Aaron Burr 's second in the duel with Alexander Hamilton . Van Buren made the acquaintance of Burr, but did not fall under his influence. In 1803 he was admitted to the bar and continued in active and successful practice for twenty-five years.
His practice made him financially independent, and paved the way for his entrance into politics. New York politics after 1800 , the year of the election of Jefferson and the downfall of the Federalists , were particularly bitter and personal. The Republicans were divided into three factions, followers respectively of George Clinton (and later of his nephew, De Witt Clinton ), Robert R. Livingston and Aaron Burr. Federalist control after 1799 depended upon coalition with one or other of these groups. Van Buren, who early allied himself with the Clintonians, was surrogate of Columbia County from 1808 until 1813 , when he was removed. In 1812 he entered the state Senate, and he also became a member of the Court for the Correction of Errors , the highest court in New York until 1847 .