Hannah Hoes Van Buren married the eventual United States president Martin Van Buren on February 21, 1807. Her marriage to Martin Van Buren was a brief one. She contracted tuberculosis in 1819, and passed away from the disease on February 5, 1819. She was then only 35 years old.
Little is known about Hannah because she never lived long enough to become the first lady of the United States. When Martin Van Buren was sworn in as president of the United States, in 1837, Hannah Hoes Van Buren had already passed away, and Martin Van Buren had been a widower, for 18 years. Martin Van Buren never remarried, and remained a widower for the rest of his life
The brief marriage between Hannah Hoes and Martin Van Buren was a good and solid one. Apparently Van Buren was devoted to the shy, blue eyed girl, whom he always called “Jannetje”, a Dutch diminutive of Jan. He never mentioned her in his autobiography, because he apparently felt that, “a gentleman would never shame a lady by public reference”. The couple had grown up together in the small Dutch community of Kinderhook, and had a relationship since their teen age years. The couple did not get married until they were both around 24 years old, because Martin felt he had to be able to support himself and his spouse. On the day the couple gave their wedding vows, Martin had become a practicing lawyer in his own law practice.
Following their marriage the couple moved from Kinderhook to Hudson, and later to Albany, New York, where Martin had developed a law practice and had become active in local politics, which eventually led him to become Vice President and then president of the United States.
During their brief marriage the couple had six children, but only four survived childhood. They were Abraham Van Buren [1807-1873], John Van Buren [1810-1866], Martin Van Buren, Jr. [1812-1855], and Smith Thompson Van Buren [1817-1876]. The younger Martin Van Buren and the youngest son, Smith Thompson Van Buren both became political aides to their father during the presidency. Abraham Van Buren’s wife, Angelica Singleton Van Buren, served as the acting first lady during the presidency.
Hannah Hoes Van Buren grew up on a farm in the Kinderhook, New York area. Her parents were Johannes Dircksen Hoes [1753-1789], and Maria Quakenbush Hoes [1753-1832], who were both of Dutch ancestry. The Dutch language was still spoken during family gatherings, and Hannah apparently had a distinct Dutch accent. Maria Quakenbush Hoes, Hannah’s mother, was related to Elizabeth Monroe and the Roosevelts.
Although Hannah never was able to enjoy the lime light of being the first lady of the United States, she was and still is a fascinating personality. She only lived a short life, but was able to bear four healthy children who grew up into adulthood, and who were able to leave their respective imprints on American society.
First Lady Biography: Hannah Van Buren, http://www.firstladies.org/biographies.aspx?biography=8
Hannah Hoes Van Buren, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/first_ladies/hannahvanburen/
Hannah Van Buren, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Van_Buren
Hannah Van Buren, http://www.nndb.com/people/909/000126531/
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