Hannah Van Buren
|Hannah Van Buren|
March 8, 1783
Kinderhook, New York
|Died||February 5, 1819(aged 35)|
|Spouse(s)||Martin Van Buren|
|Children||Abraham Van Buren, John Van Buren, Martin Van Buren Jr., and Smith Thompson Van Buren|
Martin, aged 24, and Hannah, aged 23, married on February 21, 1807 at the home of the bride's sister in Catskill, New York. They had been childhood sweethearts and were first cousins once removed through his mother.
She was born to Johannes Dircksen Hoes (1753–1789), and Maria Quakenbush (1754–1852) who were of Dutch ancestry. She was taught in a local Kinderhook school by master Vrouw Lange. Like Martin, she was raised in a Dutch home and never did lose her distinct Dutch accent. Van Buren was devoted to his shy, blue-eyed bride, whom he always called "Jannetje", a Dutch petform of Johanna.
Their children were:
- Abraham Van Buren (1807–1873)
- John Van Buren (1810–1866)
- Martin "Matt" Van Buren, Jr. (1812–1855) - political aide to his father; later compiled his father's memoirs.
- Smith Thompson Van Buren (1817–1876) - political aide to his father; later edited the Van Buren papers. His second wife was a niece of Washington Irving.
After twelve years of marriage, Mrs. Van Buren contracted tuberculosis and died on February 5, 1819, at the age of thirty-five.
Even though she died before Martin became President, she is considered one of the American First Ladies. Martin Van Buren never remarried and was one of the few Presidents to be unmarried while in office. During his term, his daughter-in-law, Angelica Singleton Van Buren, performed as the host of the White House and unofficial first lady during her incumbency.