February 21, 2011


Written by Rosa Morgan
Today is President's Day, and children across the United States will be cutting out silhouettes of Washington and Lincoln. They'll reminisce patriotic stories of felled cherry trees and split-log cabins, but there will be no mention of me: Martin Van Buren, 8th president of this fine country. I theorize my obscurity is due to the fact that Washington is on the one dollar bill, and Lincoln on the five note. No currency is graced by my fetching portrait other than a recently minted coin, only collectors will ever notice. I want to be on paper money, perhaps the million dollar bill! I shall now campaign for readers to send letters of persuasion to their Representatives on my behalf.

Ten Reasons for You to VOTE for VAN BUREN! Sorry I don't have a catchier slogan like "Tippecanoe and Tyler too".

1) I'm a pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of guy, my father being a tavern owner.
2) I have immense political savvy, having started my studies of law at 14.
A sympathy vote: I never remarried after dear Hannah died.
4) I was the first president born an American citizen. The other 7 were born British subjects before the American Revolution.
I'm bilingual. Dutch being my first language.

6) Other than Thomas Jefferson, I'm the only one to serve as Secretary of State, Vice President and President.

7) I was the first American president during the Victorian era. This is a cartoon of Victoria and myself arguing over some silly Canadian timber in the Aroostook War.

8) I am willing to admit my mistakes: Trail of Tears, my denying Texas to join the United States, those tiresome slaves on La Amistad, and the Panic of 1837.

There would be no "OK" without me. My nickname was "Old Kinderhook", and I often approved things by signing "OK".

10) I save the best for last. I have the most prodigious mutton chops of any president.

Your unsung president! Martin Van Buren

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