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ABOUT THE WHITE HOUSE * FIRST LADIES



OUR FIRST LADIES:
18th Century
about_first_ladies_marthawashington Martha Washington
about_first_ladies_abigailadams Abigail Adams

19th Century
about_first_ladies_marthajefferson Martha Jefferson
about_first_ladies_dolleymadison Dolley Madison
about_first_ladies_elizabethmonroe Elizabeth Monroe
about_first_ladies_louisaadams Louisa Adams
about_first_ladies_racheljackson Rachel Jackson
about_first_ladies_hannahvanburen Hannah Van Buren
about_first_ladies_annaharrison Anna Harrison
about_first_ladies_letitiatyler Letitia Tyler
about_first_ladies_juliatyler Julia Tyler
about_first_ladies_sarahpolk Sarah Polk
about_first_ladies_margarettaylor Margaret Taylor
about_first_ladies_abigailfillmore Abigail Fillmore
about_first_ladies_janepierce Jane Pierce
about_first_ladies_harrietlane Harriet Lane
about_first_ladies_marylincoln Mary Lincoln
about_first_ladies_elizajohnson Eliza Johnson
about_first_ladies_juliagrant Julia Grant
about_first_ladies_lucyhayes Lucy Hayes
about_first_ladies_lucretiagarfield Lucretia Garfield
about_first_ladies_ellenarthur Ellen Arthur
about_first_ladies_francescleveland Frances Cleveland
about_first_ladies_carolineharrison Caroline Harrison
about_first_ladies_francescleveland Frances Cleveland
about_first_ladies_idamckinley Ida McKinley


20th Century
about_first_ladies_edithroosevelt Edith Roosevelt
about_first_ladies_helentaft Helen Taft
about_first_ladies_ellenwilson Ellen Wilson
about_first_ladies_edithwilson Edith Wilson
about_first_ladies_florenceharding Florence Harding
about_first_ladies_gracecoolidge Grace Coolidge
about_first_ladies_louhoover Lou Hoover
about_first_ladies_eleanorroosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt
about_first_ladies_besstruman Elizabeth Truman
about_first_ladies_mamieeisenhower Mamie Eisenhower
about_first_ladies_jacquelinekennedy Jacqueline Kennedy
about_first_ladies_ladybirdjohnson Claudia Johnson
about_first_ladies_patnixon Patricia Nixon
about_first_ladies_bettyford Elizabeth Ford
about_first_ladies_rosalynncarter Rosalynn Carter
about_first_ladies_nancyreagan Nancy Reagan
about_first_ladies_barbarabush Barbara Bush
about_first_ladies_hillaryclinton Hillary Clinton

21st Century
about_first_ladies_laurabush Laura Bush
administration_michelle_obama Michelle Obama



HANNAH HOES VAN BUREN
b.1783 -- d.1819

Cousins in a close-knit Dutch community, Hannah Hoes and Martin Van Buren grew up together in Kinderhook, New York. Evidently he wanted to establish his law practice before marrying his sweetheart--they were not wed until 1807, when he was 24 and his bride just three months younger. Apparently their marriage was a happy one, though little is known of Hannah as a person.

Van Buren omitted even her name from his autobiography; a gentleman of that day would not shame a lady by public references. A niece who remembered "her loving, gentle disposition" emphasized "her modest, even timid manner." Church records preserve some details of her life; she seems to have considered formal church affiliation a matter of importance.

She bore a son in Kinderhook, three others in Hudson, where Martin served as county surrogate; but the fourth son died in infancy. In 1816 the family moved to the state capital in Albany. Soon the household included Martin's law partner and three apprentices; relatives came and went constantly, and Hannah could return their visits. Contemporary letters indicate that she was busy, sociable, and happy. She gave birth to a fifth boy in January 1817.

But 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."

Her husband never remarried; he moved into the White House in 1837 as a widower with four bachelor sons. Now accustomed to living in elegant style, he immediately began to refurbish a mansion shabby from public use under Jackson. Across Lafayette Square, Dolley Madison reigned as matriarch of Washington society; when her young relative-by-marriage Angelica Singleton came up from South Carolina for a visit, Dolley took her to the White House to pay a call.

Angelica's aristocratic manners, excellent education, and handsome face won the heart of the President's eldest son, Abraham. They were married in November 1838; next spring a honeymoon abroad polished her social experience. Thereafter, while Abraham served as the President's private secretary, Angelica presided as the lady of the White House. The only flaw in her pleasure in this role was the loss of a baby girl. Born at the White House, she lived only a few hours. In later years, though spending much time in South Carolina and in Europe, Angelica and her husband made their home in New York City; she died there in 1878.


Click about_presidents_martinvanburen here to read the biography of President Martin Van Buren.

MD5: 07449c96ac72f66ee118292cafc88d62
Original URL: http://whitehouse.gov/about/first_ladies/hannahvanburen/

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