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 Hannah <I>Hoes</I> Van Buren

Hannah Hoes Van Buren

Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York, USA
Death 5 Feb 1819 (aged 35)
Albany, Albany County, New York, USA
Burial Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 19469 · View Source
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Wife of President Martin Van Buren. She was born Hannah Hoes in the small town of Kinderhook, New York comprised almost entirely of Dutch ancestry. She was a distant cousin of the future President's mother. Hannah never lost her distinctive Dutch accent she learned from her immigrant parents. She knew Martin Van Buren her entire life and became his girlfriend at an early age. He called her Jannetje which is Dutch for Hannah. Townspeople were well aware of the couple's attachment and assumed they would someday wed. Martin wanted to establish his law practice before marrying. Both twenty four, they were married at the home of her sister in Catskill. She bore a son in Kinderhook. Martin's political career was on the rise and the family moved to nearby Hudson where he served as county surrogate. Three more sons were born, with one dying in infancy. Elected to the state legislature, the family moved to Albany where Hannah served as official hostess for her husbands budding career while giving birth to a fifth child. Hannah was stricken with tuberculosis, not yet 36, and while convalescing at home in Kinderhook passed away. Her service was held at the Dutch Reform Church with interment in the church cemetery. Eighteen years after her death, her bachelor sons went to the White House with their father when he assumed the Presidency. Abraham, the eldest, graduated West Point and resigned to serve as secretary to his father and married Angelica a relative of Dolley Madison who became official hostess during theVan Buren administration. He rejoined the army during the Mexican War, promoted for bravery at the battles of Contreras and Churubusco. John, a lawyer, served as secretary of the American legation in London during his father's stint as minister to Great Britain. He later became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Martin - He was a student of political science and history, served as a political aide to his father and compiled the information used by the President in writing his memoirs. Smith Thompson - He served as a political aid to his father drafting many of his speeches and was executor of his father's estate while editing the Van Buren Papers. Hannah never made it to the White House, never saw her husband become President or see her sons in important national political positions, but her presence was felt during her husband's Presidency more than that of many women who did serve as First Lady. Her son's as adults reflected the excellent upbringing they received before her death and became known as "The Van Buren Boys" during her husbands administration.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19469
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hannah Hoes Van Buren (8 Mar 1783–5 Feb 1819), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19469, citing Kinderhook Reformed Church Cemetery, Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .