Starting with Andrew Jackson, presidential candidates in the United States used campaign biographies as useful political tools, and since 1824 no presidential election year has passed without a campaign biography. Martin Van Buren, President Jackson’s successor in the White House, became a target of a vicious campaign intended to prevent his election. His Whig opponents used a number of literary genres to slander him, including a mock campaign biography and a novel. The article focuses on the portrayal of Martin Van Buren in The Life of Martin Van Buren, allegedly written by Davy Crockett in 1835, and a novel named The Partisan Leader; A Tale of the Future, written by Nathaniel Beverley Tucker in 1836. Though being of different genres, these curious and obscure works have certain things in common - they were written under pseudonyms, their main goal was to prevent the election of Martin Van Buren and both of them failed in their goal.
Brugger, Robert J. Beverley Tucker. Heart over Head in the Old South. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.
Cole, Donald B. Martin Van Buren and the American Political System. Fort Washington: Eastern National, 2004.
Crockett, David. The Life of Martin Van Buren. Philadelphia: Robert Wright, 1835.
Hauck, Richard Boyd. “The Man in the Buckskin Hunting Shirt: Fact and Fiction in the Crockett Story.” Davy Crockett: The Man, the Legend, the Legacy (1786-1986), edited by Michael A. Lofaro, Knoxville: The U of Tennessee Press, 1986, pp. 3-20.
Hutton, Andrew. Introduction. A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee by David Crockett. Lincoln: The U of Nebraska Press, 1987, pp. ix-xxxviii.
Lofaro, Michael A. “Two Hundred Years. A Crockett Chronology.” Davy Crockett: The Man, the Legend, the Legacy (1786-1986), edited by Michael A. Lofaro, Konxville: The U of Tennessee Press, 1986, pp. xviii-xxiii.