Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918: The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren - Vol. 2

Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918: The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918: The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren - Vol. 2

Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918: The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The autobiography of Martin Van Buren was presented to the Library of Congress by Mrs. Smith Thompson Van Buren, of Fishkill, New York, in 1905. At the same time the Van Buren Papers were presented to the Library by Mrs. Smith Thompson Van Buren and Dr. and Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish Morris, of New York City. A Calendar of the Papers was published by the Library in 1910.

The Autobiography is the manuscript copy, in seven folio volumes (1217 pages), made by Smith Thompson Van Buren, the son and literary executor of the, President, from Van Buren's original draft. Portions of Volumes VI and VII are in another hand, and the last fifteen pages of the manuscript have many changes and corrections by Van Buren himself.

The first two hundred and fifty-nine pages of this copy were edited by Air. Worthington C. Ford, formerly Chief of the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. The lettered footnotes are Van Buren's own; the chapter divisions and numbered notes are the editor's.

The Autobiography is written with engaging frankness, and the insight it affords to the mental processes of a master politician is deeply interesting. Van Buren's desire to be scrupulously fair in his estimates is evident, and, if he did not always succeed, his failures are not discreditable. Though the Autobiography does not compel the revision of established historical judgments, it yet presents authority for much in our political history hitherto somewhat conjectural and records political motives and activities of the period in an illuminating and suggestive manner.

In analyzing men and measures, Van Buren all unconsciously paints a picture of himself and it is a truthful and worthy portrait. It is impossible to read the Autobiography through without greatly regretting that it was net carried beyond the point, it reaches.

As a contribution to the political history of the United States, its presentation of facts is too valuable to be ignored safely by the conscientious investigator.

J. C. FITZPATRICK, Assistant Chief, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.