Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782, in Kinderhook, New York. He was the son of a tavern keeper, and a truck farmer. He attended a village school within his Dutch community called Kinderhook Academy. When he was sixteen years of age he appeared in courts to observe the cases. He learned a lot from these cases and they taught him to think quickly and to be resourceful in an argument (Hoyt 10). After graduating from them he became a law clerk, and soon after entered the practice in 1803 (Martin Van Buren). In 1807 he was married for twelve years before his wife, Hannah Hoes, died. .
Van Buren's first political office was that of surrogate. He held this office until he was elected to the state senate in 1812. When Van Buren arrived in Albany two factions of the Democratic-Republican Party were fighting for power. Van Buren became the legislative leader of the "Bucktails", which was against DeWitt Clinton. With the Bucktails support Van Buren became attorney general in 1816. Once Clinton was elected governor in 1819 he erased all bucktails from office thus forcing Van Buren out of office. This three-year term at attorney general gave Van Buren a taste of what he could achieve in the world of politics. In 1820 he was elected to the Senate. Van Buren put his support in the Albany Regency, to William Crawford, and later to Jackson. In 1828 he ran a campaign and won for governor of New York, he resigned shortly after to be Jackson's secretary of state (Martin Van Buren). He was finally on Capitol Hill.
In 1832 he was chosen to run as vice-president with Andrew Jackson. He began to face problems with the South as vice-president. He did not believe the states rights should be subordinated to the federal will, but Jackson thought different. In 1835 Davy Crockett wrote a malicious biography of Van Buren hoping to end Van Buren's chances at the Democratic Republican nomination in 1836 (Hoyt 102-103).