John Edmonds’ Relationship with Martin Van Buren

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After John Edmonds graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1816, he probably began a legal apprenticeship with the law firm of George Monell, Joseph D. Monell and Abraham A. Van Buren.^ Edmonds reportedly studied in the office of Monell & Van Buren in Hudson from late 1817 to early 1819.^ Joseph D. Monell formed in 1817 a law partnership with Abraham A. Van Buren, Martin Van Buren’s brother. In 1831, Monell formed a law partnership with John W. Edmonds.^ Edmonds knew Abraham A. Van Buren well enough to write him a long, informal letter on Jan. 24, 1820.^ These facts support the likelihood that Edmonds studied law with the firm Monell & Van Buren in Hudson about 1818.

Edmonds also studied law in the office of Van Buren & Miller in Hudson.^ ^ Martin Van Buren moved from Kinderhook, NY to Hudson, NY in 1809, and then to Albany, in 1816. He formed a law partnership in 1809 with Cornelius Miller in Hudson.^ After Martin Van Buren moved to Albany in 1816, Edmonds worked for a time in Van Buren & Miller’s law firm.

Edmonds was close to the Van Burens. While working as a law clerk for Martin Van Buren in Albany, Edmonds lived with Van Buren’s family.^ Edmonds reminisced in 1862:

Some fifty years ago I was a clerk in his {Martin Van Buren’s} law office and an inmate in his family. An intimacy then grew up between us which has never been interrupted.^

Edmonds also noted that his father and Van Buren had been friends. In addition, Edmonds’ uncle Gorham A. Worth had been “intimate and fast friends” with Van Buren since their boyhood.^ Martin Van Buren’s papers include considerable correspondence between Van Buren and Worth.

Martin Van Buren served as U.S. Secretary of State (1829-1831), U.S. Vice President (1833-1837), and U.S. President (1837-1841). As Martin Van Buren’s close friend, John Edmonds moved among the top political figures in the United States.

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