About Collecting Martin Van Buren Autographs
Martin Van Buren is widely dismissed because his six predecessors were larger than life, and as the first professional politician to become president, he was not. His letters with interesting content, which might help his reputation, are all too uncommon. Much of his correspondence consists of brief letters that deal with specific matters and lack philosophical or intellectual dimensions, yet occasionally letters appear that indicate there was more to Van Buren than met the eye. At times, his correspondence could be blunt to the point of being injudicious, and he was also a dedicated leader with the ability to take adversity with a touch of humor. He had used secretaries in his legal practice early in his career, although except for official letters as President, not extensively after that.
His entire term was consumed by the first major depression to hit the country. Four years later, his return to office was destroyed by his opposition to the admission of Texas as a state because it would fan the flames of confrontation over slavery.