Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 54 of 1,110

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PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

ARTIN VAN BUREN,
the eighth
President of the
United States, I837_'_
'4I, was born at KinI~
C~T~Tf2 ~ derhook, New York,
II 3 FDecember 5, 1782.
His ancestors were of Dutch
, i origin, and were among the
x {H earliest emigrants from Holland
to the banks of the
Hudson. His father was a
tavern-keeper, as well as a
^@m farmer, and a very decided
Democrat.
" Martin commenced the study
of law at the age of fourteen, and took an
active part in politics before he had reached
the age of twenty. In I803 he commenced
the practice of law in his native village.
In I809 he removed to Hudson, the shire
town of his county, where he spent seven
years, gaining strength by contending in
the courts with some of the ablest men
who have adorned the bar of his State.
The heroic example of John Quincy Adams
in retaining in office every faithful man,
without regard to his political preferences,
had been thoroughly repudiated by General
Jackson. The unfortunate principle
was now fully established, that "to the
victor belong the spoils." Still, this principle,
to which Mr. Van Buren gave his adherence,
was not devoid of inconveniences.
When, subsequently, he attained power
which placed vast patronage in his hands,
he was heard to say: "I prefer an office
that has no patronage. When I give a man
an office I offend his disappointed competitors
and their friends. Nor am I certain of
gaining a friend in the m'an I appoint, for,
in all probability, he expected something
better."
In I812 Mr. Van Buren was elected to
the State Senate. In 1815 he was appointed
Attorney-General, and in 18I6 to the Senate
a second time. In I818 there was a great
split in the Democratic party in New York,
and Mr. Van Buren took the lead in organizing
that portion of the party called
the Albany Regency, which is said to have
swayed the destinies of the State for a
quarter of a century.
In 1821 he was chosen a member of the
convention for revising the State Constitution,
in which he advocated an extension of
the franchise, but opposed universal suffrage,
and also favored the proposal that
colored persons, in order to vote, should
have freehold property to the amount of
$250. In this year he was also elected to
the United States Senate, and at the conclusion
of his term, in 1827, was re-elected,
but, resigned the following year, having
been chosen Governor of the State. In
March, 1829, he was appointed Secretary ol

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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/54/ocr/: accessed August 25, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.