American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell

By Edward S. Mihalkanin | Go to book overview


BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
An extensive collection of Martin Van Buren Papers (in his almost indecipherable script) can be found at the Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society, and New Public Library, and New York State Library. Fortunately, The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick (1920) covers his life into the vice presidency, providing insights into his tenure in the State Department.
For many years the standard biography had been the sympathetic study by Holmes Alexander, The American Talleyrand: The Career and Contemporaries of Martin Van Buren (1935), supplemented by the chapter on Van Buren in Samuel F. Bemis, American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy (1927-1929). In the 1980s, however, a Van Buren renaissance provided several even-handed biographies, including John Niven, Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics (1983) and Don Cole, Martin Van Buren and the American Political System (1984). The Peggy Eaton affair and the cabinet crisis of 1831 that led to Van Buren's resignation is most recently covered by John Marszalek, The Petticoat Affair (1997). Van Buren's diplomatic career is treated generally in John M. Belohlavek, Let the Eagle Soar!: The Foreign Policy of Andrew Jackson (1985) and Don Cole, The Presidency of Andrew Jackson (1993).
Specific problems are dealt with in (Great Britain) F. Lee Benns, The American Struggle for the British West Indies Carrying Trade, 1815-1830 (1923), Henry Burrage, Maine in the Northeastern Boundary Controversy (1919), Howard Jones, To the Webster-Ashburton Treaty: A Study in Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1843 (1977, (Denmark) Soren Fogdall, Danish-American Diplomacy, 1776-1920 (1922), (France) Richard McLemore, Franco-American Diplomatic Relations, 1816-1836 (1941), (Turkey) David F. Long, Nothing Too Daring: A Biography of Commodore David Porter (1970), Thomas Bryson, American Diplomatic Relations with the Middle East, 1784-1975 (1977), and (Mexico) James Callahan, American Foreign Policy in Mexican Relations (1932); Gene Brack, Mexico Views Manifest Destiny, 1821-1846 (1975); and J. Fred Rippy, Joel R. Poinsett: Versatile American (1935).

John Belohlavek

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