Fertile Political Ground

Fertile Political Ground (HMPAM)

Location: Kinderhook, NY 12106 Columbia County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 22.195', W 73° 42.221'

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Inscription

Martin Van Buren Nat'l Hist Site

— National Park Service —

Van Buren's 1839 purchase of the fine eighteenth-century house and farm he renamed "Lindenwald" represented his drastic rise from tavern-keeper's son to prominent gentleman. While the fields and orchards of Lindenwald proved to be bountiful, Van Buren's elegant home provided equally fertile ground upon which he cultivated valuable political relationships. Throughout his 21 years of residency a steady stream of politicians, celebrities and businessmen were graciously entertained inside Lindenwald, most notably the "Great Compromiser," Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, in 1849.

Van Buren ran twice more for the presidency while living here. He nearly regained the Democratic Party nomination in 1844 - losing on the ninth ballot to James K. Polk - largely because Van Buren was against the immediate annexation of Texas. This disappointment inspired Van Buren to run a third party campaign in 1848 for the Free Soil Party. Much of the strategizing that went into both candidacies was accomplished inside this large quirky home. The main hall with its large dining table was the center of many political discussions.

Van Buren's Free Soil candidacy was part of the increasing political turmoil faced by the country in the 1840's and 1850's. The slogan "free soil, free labor, free speech, free men" represented a desire to unite different groups of citizens who opposed the extension of slavery westward as the threat of Civil War loomed. Van Buren did not have any illusions of winning the presidency in 1848, but he had become convinced of the need to make a dramatic political statement about the future of the nation.
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HM NumberHMPAM
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Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 7:51pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 606734 N 4691662
Decimal Degrees42.36991667, -73.70368333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 22.195', W 73° 42.221'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 22' 11.70" N, 73° 42' 13.26" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)518
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1013 Old Post Rd, Kinderhook NY 12106, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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