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Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents Martin Van Buren
1840 election ticket for Ohio
1840 election ticket for Ohio

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Van Buren and Politics

President Andrew Jackson never forgot or forgave the pain his dead wife, Rachel, had suffered when people accused her of having married him before her divorce from her first husband was final. Jackson was determined that Peggy Eaton should not suffer as Rachel had.

Van Buren's decision to support Peggy Eaton demonstrated his sensitivity to Jackson's feelings. And so when the rest of his Cabinet rejected Peggy Eaton, Jackson decided to rely instead on a "kitchen cabinet," an informal group of advisers that included Van Buren.

Van Buren helped Jackson by resigning his official Cabinet position in 1831. Jackson then asked the rest of his Cabinet to resign, replacing them with supporters. And he made Van Buren his vice presidential running mate in 1832. When Jackson won a second term, it soon became clear that he wanted Van Buren to succeed him as president.

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