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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Visiting President Martin Van Buren's Home in Kinderhook, New York

Martin Van Buren was born in a tavern in Kinderhook, New York in 1782, during the last years of the Revolutionary War.  He is the first President born in the newly independent America.

Martin Van Buren became a lawyer and was drawn to politics.  He spent many years as a public servant.  Van Buren served in the New York State Senate, New York State Attorney General, as United States Senator from New York.  He was one of the chief architects of the Democratic party and helped elect Andrew Jackson.  Van Buren served as New York's Governor for 71 days before joining the Andrew Jackson's administration as Secretary of State.  He became Andrew Jackson's Vice President and was as President from 1837 - 1841.

The Van Buren administration continued the policy of Indian Relocation Program that forced Native Americans to relocate from the Southeastern states to Oklahoma.  The Panic of 1837 and its economic struggles posted challenges for the administration.  The spread of slavery plagued President Van Buren.  He opposed Texas' admission as a slave state.  Van Buren lost reelection in 1840.

He ran for election in 1844 and lost the nomination to James K. Polk.  The former president ran as a third party candidate in 1848 and lost.  His candidacy helped elect the Republican candidate, Zachary Taylor.

The National Park Service
acquired the eight president's
home in 1973.

Over the years, 210 of the original 220 acres have been acquired and added to this National Historic site.

Built in 1797, Lindenwald was
 purchased by Martin Van Buren
 in 1839.

The house was renovated and Gothic elements were added... the peaked roof in the center of the house and the tower on the left. 

No photos are allowed inside President Van Buren's home.  That's OK...  the internet provides....

This large dining room was
originally two rooms.

The over-sized Dutch Door
is common in 18th century

Unfortunately, the photo does not show off the elaborate hunting scene wall paper.

After formal dinners, the men and women went to separate salons to continue their visit.

The Men's Salon has a
marble-topped card table
in the middle of the room.

The ogee arch is a French
 architectural element.

The Women's Salon

The Informal Dining Room

The tin box on the left is
a plate warmer.

Heat from the fireplace warmed food placed on shelves in this warming box.

One of the bedrooms in
this 36 room home.

The tour included servants rooms.  The addition in 1839 included a kitchen.   The original kitchen was in an out building to protect the house from possible damage from wood burning fires.  The coal fed stove and oven was safer and the new kitchen location was more efficient than the original one.

Following Van Buren's political career, he wrote his memoirs, traveled in Europe and enjoyed his family.  He died at Lindenwald on July 24, 1862.

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