Angelica Singleton Van Buren
|Angelica Van Buren|
Van Buren's White House Portrait (1840)
|First Lady of the United States
November 27, 1838 – March 4, 1841
|President||Martin Van Buren|
|Preceded by||Sarah Jackson (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Anna Harrison
Jane Harrison (Acting)
February 13, 1818|
Wedgefield, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||December 29, 1877
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Abraham Van Buren (1838–1873)|
Sarah Angelica Singleton Van Buren (née Singleton; February 13, 1818 – December 29, 1877), was the daughter-in-law of the 8th United States President Martin Van Buren. She was married to the President's son, Abraham Van Buren. She assumed the post of First Lady because the president's wife, Hannah Van Buren, had died 17 years earlier and he remained unwed throughout the rest of his life. Although she was never married to a president, she is the youngest woman ever to hold the title of First Lady.
Van Buren was educated at the Columbia Female Academy in South Carolina and Madame Grelaud's French School in Philadelphia. Van Buren was a popular student at Madame Grelaud's and the school gave her the opportunity to meet a more diverse group of people. Although all of students at Madame Grelaud's were wealthy, they included Roman Catholic and Sephardi Jews, two groups Van Buren may not have socialized with before.
In 1838, Van Buren visited Washington, D.C. with her sister. Former First Lady Dolley Madison, a cousin of Rebecca Travis Coles, decided to play matchmaker and introduced the Singleton girls to President Martin Van Buren's bachelor sons. Eight months later, Angelica Singleton married Abraham Van Buren on November 27, 1838 in Wedgefield. The marriage strengthened President Van Buren's ties to the Old South.
Following the wedding, Van Buren assumed the duties of hostess at the White House with great success.
In the spring of 1839, the couple took an extended trip through England (where her uncle Andrew Stevenson was U.S. minister) and other European countries. The trip was a massive success and when Van Buren returned to Washington, she hoped to bring some European style to the White House. Angelica and other honored female guests began standing on a dais in the Blue Room to greet guests at the beginning of White House functions. Although the French Ambassador enjoyed the reception, Americans did not. The dais was soon removed.
After Martin Van Buren was defeated for re-election in 1840, Angelica and her husband lived at the Van Buren home of Lindenwald, in Kinderhook, NY, wintering at her family home in South Carolina. From 1848 until her death, she lived in New York City.
- Sibley, Katherine A. S. (2016-03-02). A Companion to First Ladies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118732243.
- Hendricks, Nancy (2015-10-13). America's First Ladies: A Historical Encyclopedia and Primary Document Collection of the Remarkable Women of the White House: A Historical Encyclopedia and Primary Document Collection of the Remarkable Women of the White House. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610698832.
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- James C. Welling (1914). "Martin Van Buren". In James Grant Wilson. The Presidents of the United States, 1789-1914.
- Angelica Van Buren biography at American Presidents Blog
- Angelica Singleton Van Buren Collection at University of South Carolina
|First Lady of the United States
Anna Harrison (de jure)
Jane Harrison (de facto)