Cynthia Van Buren Lecture Series Continues with Dr. Mark Cheathem’s Discussion on Martin Van Buren’s 1842 Middle Tennessee Visit

LEBANON, Tenn. – Dr. Mark R. Cheathem will deliver the Spring 2024 Cynthia Van Buren Lecture at Cumberland University’s Alumni Hall on Monday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m. His talk, entitled “To Shake the Paw of the Old Lion: Martin Van Buren’s 1842 Visit to Middle Tennessee,” will focus on Van Buren’s attempt to gauge support for a potential presidential run in 1844.

Dr. Cheathem is a professor of history and project director of the Papers of Martin Van Buren at Cumberland. He is the author or editor of nine books, including two award winners: Andrew Jackson, Southerner and The Coming of Democracy: Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson. Dr. Cheathem has contributed to national and regional media outlets, including CTV News, NRC Handelsblad, the Washington Post, C-SPAN, NBC News, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Voice of America, the Nashville Tennessean, and the Nashville Scene. Signed copies of his most recent book, Who Is James K. Polk? The Presidential Election of 1844 will be available for purchase, with profits donated to the Papers of Martin Van Buren student internship program.

The lecture series is named in honor of the late Cynthia Van Buren, a Palm Beach, Florida, philanthropist who bequeathed a $100,000 gift to the Papers of Martin Van Buren Presidential Papers project upon her death in 2020.

“This event marks the expansion of the lecture series from once to twice a year,” said Cheathem. “Spring lectures like this will be delivered by project editors, allowing them to showcase how the Van Buren Papers increase our knowledge of the eighth president. Fall lectures will continue our tradition of inviting scholars from outside the Cumberland community to share their expertise on Van Buren and his era.”

The Papers of Martin Van Buren is making approximately 14,000 documents written by or sent to the eighth president accessible at the project website, Cumberland University, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsor the project. It is produced in partnership with the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia.

About Cumberland University:

For over 182 years, Cumberland University has been advancing its long tradition of excellence to rise, endure, prosper and illuminate the world. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing liberal arts universities in the state of Tennessee, Cumberland continues to evolve to meet the needs of a diverse and expanding community while providing a transformational higher education experience through more than 80 accredited academic programs of study at the Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s levels. 


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