Van Buren, Martin.
Van Buren, Martin
(1782 - 1862) Eighth president of the U.S. (1837 - 41). The leader of a New York political faction known as the Albany Regency, Van Buren served in the U.S. Senate (1821 - 28) and as secretary of state (1829 - 31) under Andrew Jackson. Elected to the vice presidency in 1832 as Jackson's running mate, Van Buren defeated William Henry Harrison in the presidential election of 1836, but his popularity declined as a result of the economic distress engendered by the Panic of 1837. In the famous campaign of 1840, the Whigs appealed to the common man by presenting Harrison as a homespun frontier hero content with his log cabin and jug of hard cider while Van Buren was depicted as an aristocrat who dined off gold plate; Harrison won 234 electoral votes to Van Buren's sixty. In 1844 the Democrats passed Van Buren over after he declared his opposition to the immediate annexation of Texas.