Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 December 1782 A.D. Martin Van Buren Born—8th U.S. President

5 December 1782 A.D.  Martin Van Buren Born—8th U.S. President

No author. “Van Buren is Born.”  History.  5 Dec.  Accessed 5 Dec 2014.

On this day in 1782, Martin Van Buren, America's 8th president, is born in Kinderhook, New York, to Dutch parents. He left grammar school with his sights set on studying law and pursuing a career in politics.

Van Buren married one of his Dutch cousins, Hannah Hoes, in 1807. The couple, who spoke Dutch at home, settled in Albany, New York, and had five children before she died from tuberculosis in 1819. Two years later, he won his first political election, earning a seat in the U.S. Senate. In 1828, Van Buren became governor of New York, but left that office four months later to accept President Andrew Jackson's offer to serve as secretary of state. He resigned the office in 1831 to accept a commission as minister to Great Britain; Congress, however, ultimately rejected his nomination. In 1832, Van Buren was elected vice president under Andrew Jackson.

Van Buren was exceptionally effective at uniting the disparate factions of the Democratic Party and at riding the coattails of the very popular Jackson, and he easily won the presidency in 1836. At this point, his political fortunes took a turn for the worse. A financial crisis in 1837 plunged the country into depression. Van Buren's ineffective response to the crisis, his refusal to pursue annexation of Texas and his anti-slavery leanings caused the pro-slavery, pro-expansionist Democratic Party to split during the election of 1840. Van Buren lost that campaign to Whig William Henry Harrison. He tried and failed to get the Democratic nomination in 1844 and in 1848 ran as the Free-Soil Party candidate on an anti-slavery, anti-annexation platform, but lost again.

Defeated, Van Buren retired to his hometown of Kinderhook, New York in 1849. He died in 1862.

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