Monday, May 23, 2005

Kinderhook Connection

Kinderhook Connection. Long article about President Martin Van Buren which describes his relationship with the town of Kinderhook, New York.

From the site:

Martin Van Buren was born in Kinderhook in 1782, soon after a fragile union of states successfully ended its fight for independence. His parents kept a tavern and, like their Dutch predecessors of 150 years, made a moderate living farming in the Hudson Valley.

Young Martin, possessed of a fine mind and a strong ambition, embarked on a legal career at 14 with an apprenticeship to a local attorney. In 1804 he joined his half-brother's law practice in their home town. Three years later Van Buren married a distant relative and childhood sweetheart, Hannah Hoes.

Meanwhile, he was becoming known as more than a country lawyer. His first appointed post, as a county official, set him on an upward course that led to the highest office in the state, and eventually, the nation.

Early 19th century politics was a whirlwind of boisterous characters and opposing interest groups where a new party system was taking shape. Van Buren artfully positioned himself in the eye of the storm, persistently advocating the principles of the Jeffersonian Republicans, namely states' rights, strict constitutional construction, and civil liberties.

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