These days, Martin Van Buren is mostly known as the balding nineteenth century President with muttonchops and a funny name. But spend some time talking with Dr. Mark Cheathem, professor of history at Cumberland University and Project Director of the Martin Van Buren Papers, and you will come to appreciate that not only did Van Buren pull together the coalitions that formed the Democratic Party, he was also the architect of the modern American party system.
And we should also add that Martin Van Buren is Bob Crawford’s favorite President. Here’s a pardon signed by Van Buren for Arther Dasheil on March 18, 1839, which hangs in the Crawford home.
-Mark Cheathem’s profile page at Cumberland University
-Mark Cheathem on twitter
-The Papers of Martin Van Buren website