This Was The First President To Be Born In The United States

The United States has been an independent nation for just 245 years. We can trace the history of the world back thousands of years, and just two-and-a-half centuries is barely a ripple in the sea of time, yet with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the country embarked on one of the greatest experiments of democratic government of all time.

The first president of this fledgling nation, George Washington, became the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. on April 30, 1789, after taking the oath of office from the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York (via Washington and the next six presidents had all been born British subjects. The original 13 colonies along the Atlantic Coast in the 17th and 18th centuries that became the United States were settled by Great Britain. It wasn't until 1776 that people born in America were U.S. citizens.

Van Buren First President Born An American

The first U.S. president born in the United States entered the world in 1782 in Kinderhook, New York, just six years after the colonists declared their independence from Britain. The honor goes to Martin Van Buren. Van Buren's father, a farmer and tavernkeeper, and mother were both of Dutch descent. By 1796, a young Van Buren became an apprentice with a local lawyer, and by 1803 he had opened his own practice. Eventually he became involved in New York politics. A few years later, he married his childhood sweetheart, his cousin Hannah Hoes, and went on to have four sons with her. She fell ill with tuberculosis and died in 1819 and he never remarried (via History).

Van Buren, vice president to President Andrew Jackson in Jackson's second term, was elected president in 1837. His friends nicknamed him the "Little Magician" and his enemies called him the "Sly Fox" due to his cunning political maneuvers (via Britannica). Unfortunately for Van Buren, just three months into his presidency, he found himself presiding over the Panic of 1837, a financial crisis that caused a major depression which lasted almost 10 grueling years. Van Buren's years in the White House were also tarnished by a long, expensive war with the Seminole Indians of Florida. He was not re-elected to a second term. He lost to William Henry Harrison in 1840. He retired to Lindenwald, his estate in his home town of Kinderhook (via History).