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Hannah Van Buren

Cousins in a close-knit Dutch community, Hannah Hoes and Martin Van Buren grew up together in Kinderhook, New York. They were wed in 1807. Apparently their marriage was a happy one, though little is known of Hannah as a person. Van Buren omitted even Hannahs name from his autobiography - a gentleman of that day would not shame a lady by public references. A niece remembered "her loving, gentle disposition" and "her modest, even timid manner." Church records preserve some details of her life; she seems to have considered church affiliation a matter of importance.

She bore a son in Kinderhook, three others in Hudson, where Van Buren served as county surrogate. A fourth son died in infancy. In 1816 the family moved to the state capital in Albany. Contemporary letters indicate that Hannah was busy, sociable, and happy. She gave birth to a fifth boy in January 1817. But by the following winter her health was obviously failing, apparently from tuberculosis. Not yet 36, she died on February 5, 1819. The Albany Argus called her "an ornament of the Christian faith."

Martin Van Buren never remarried. He entered the White House in 1837 as a widower with four bachelor sons.

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