The Papers of Martin Van Buren project at Cumberland University recently published 264 new documents belonging to the eighth president.
The bulk of these newly published papers centers on Van Buren’s early life and career in New York. They include documents related to his work as attorney general and his construction of the Albany Regency political machine that influenced his later work with the Democratic party.
“It has been exciting to see Van Buren’s evolution as a political strategist in these documents,” project director Dr. Mark Cheathem said. “The lessons Van Buren learned during his time in rough-and-tumble New York politics helped him build the political movement that put Andrew Jackson in the White House just a few years later.”
The editorial staff made significant progress on completing the first volume of The Selected Papers of Martin Van Buren, which focuses on Van Buren’s life and career up to the beginning of his first term in the U.S. Senate in 1821. According to Cheathem, this multivolume print edition will highlight the most important documents from Van Buren’s life, which began shortly after the end of the American Revolution and ended in the early part of the Civil War.
The digital edition of the Van Buren papers is making accessible over 13,500 documents written by or sent to the eighth president. Nearly 1,800 of these documents are now available at vanburenpapers.org.
The Papers of Martin Van Buren project is sponsored by Cumberland University and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and is produced in partnership with the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia.