160 Facts About John Tyler


John Tyler was the tenth president of the United States, serving from 1841 to 1845, after briefly holding office as the tenth vice president in 1841.


John Tyler was elected vice president on the 1840 Whig ticket with President William Henry Harrison, succeeding to the presidency following Harrison's death 31 days after assuming office.


John Tyler's unexpected rise to the presidency posed a threat to the presidential ambitions of Henry Clay and other Whig politicians and left Tyler estranged from both of the nation's major political parties at the time.


John Tyler became a national figure at a time of political upheaval.


John Tyler served as a Virginia state legislator and governor, US representative, and US senator.


John Tyler was a regional Whig vice-presidential nominee in the 1836 presidential election; they lost.


John Tyler was the sole nominee on the 1840 Whig presidential ticket as William Henry Harrison's running mate.


President Harrison died just one month after taking office, and John Tyler became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency.


Amid uncertainty as to whether a vice president succeeded a deceased president, or merely took on his duties, John Tyler immediately took the presidential oath of office, setting a lasting precedent.


John Tyler signed into law some of the Whig-controlled Congress's bills, but he was a strict constructionist and vetoed the party's bills to create a national bank and raise tariff rates.


John Tyler believed that the president, rather than Congress, should set policy, and he sought to bypass the Whig establishment led by Senator Henry Clay.


John Tyler was the first president to have his veto of legislation overridden by Congress.


John Tyler firmly believed in manifest destiny and saw the annexation of Texas as economically advantageous to the United States, signing a bill to offer Texas statehood just before leaving office and returning to his plantation.


John Tyler presided over the opening of the Virginia Secession Convention and served as a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States.


John Tyler subsequently won election to the Confederate House of Representatives but died before it assembled.


Some scholars have praised John Tyler's political resolve, but historians have generally given his presidency a low ranking.


Today, John Tyler is seldom remembered in comparison to other presidents and maintains only a limited presence in American cultural memory.


The John Tyler family traced its lineage to English settlers and 17th century colonial Williamsburg.


The elder John Tyler served four years as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates before becoming a state court judge and later governor of Virginia and a judge on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at Richmond.


John Tyler died of a stroke in 1797 when her son John was seven years old.


Judge John Tyler paid high wages for tutors who challenged his children academically.


John Tyler was of frail health, thin and prone to diarrhea throughout life.


John Tyler graduated from the school's collegiate branch in 1807, at age 17.


John Tyler was admitted to the Virginia bar at the age of 19.


In 1813, the year of his father's death, the younger John Tyler purchased Woodburn plantation, where he lived until 1821.


In 1811, at age 21, John Tyler was elected to represent Charles City County in the House of Delegates.


John Tyler served five successive one-year terms.


John Tyler joined fellow legislator Benjamin W Leigh in supporting the censure of US senators William Branch Giles and Richard Brent of Virginia who had, against the Virginia legislature's instructions, voted for the recharter of the First Bank of the United States.


John Tyler's father died in 1813, and John Tyler inherited 13 slaves along with his father's plantation.


John Tyler sought the seat, as did his friend and political ally Andrew Stevenson.


John Tyler was sworn into the Fourteenth Congress on December 17,1816, to serve as a Democratic-Republican, the major political party in the Era of Good Feelings.


John Tyler held fast to his strict constructionist beliefs, rejecting such proposals on both constitutional and personal grounds.


John Tyler believed each state should construct necessary projects within its borders using locally generated funds.


John Tyler was chosen to participate in an audit of the Second Bank of the United States in 1818 as part of a five-man committee, and was appalled by the corruption which he perceived within the bank.


John Tyler argued for the revocation of the bank charter, although Congress rejected any such proposal.


John Tyler was elected for a full term without opposition in early 1819.


John Tyler believed that Congress did not have the power to regulate slavery and that admitting states based on whether they were slave or free was a recipe for sectional conflict; therefore, the Missouri Compromise was enacted without John Tyler's support.


John Tyler declined to seek renomination in late 1820, citing ill health.


John Tyler privately acknowledged his dissatisfaction with the position, as his opposing votes were largely symbolic and did little to change the political culture in Washington; he observed that funding his children's education would be difficult on a congressman's low salary.


John Tyler left office on March 3,1821, endorsing his former opponent Stevenson for the seat, and returned to private law practice full-time.


Restless and bored after two years at home practicing law, John Tyler sought election to the House of Delegates in 1823.


Crawford captured the legislature's support, but John Tyler's proposal was defeated.


John Tyler's most enduring effort in this second legislative tenure was saving the College of William and Mary, which risked closure from waning enrollment.


Rather than move it from rural Williamsburg to the more populated capital at Richmond, as some suggested, John Tyler proposed administrative and financial reforms.


John Tyler was nominated in December 1825 for governor of Virginia, a position which was then appointed by the legislature.


John Tyler enjoyed a prominent oratorical platform but could do little to influence the legislature.


John Tyler was deeply devoted to Jefferson, and his eloquent eulogy was well received.


John Tyler promoted states' rights and adamantly opposed any concentration of federal power.


John Tyler was unanimously reelected to a second one-year term in December 1826.


John Tyler repeatedly declined the offer, endorsing Randolph as the best candidate, but the political pressure continued to mount.


John Tyler disliked both candidates for their willingness to increase the power of the federal government, but was increasingly drawn to Jackson, hoping that he would not seek to spend as much federal money on internal improvements as Adams.


John Tyler suggested that the tariff's only positive outcome would be a national political backlash, restoring a respect for states' rights.


John Tyler was at odds with President Jackson, frustrated by Jackson's newly emerging spoils system, describing it as an "electioneering weapon".


John Tyler voted against many of Jackson's nominations when they appeared to be unconstitutional or motivated by patronage.


John Tyler was particularly offended by Jackson's use of the recess appointment power to name three treaty commissioners to meet with emissaries from the Ottoman Empire, and introduced a bill chastising Jackson for this.


In some matters John Tyler was on good terms with Jackson.


John Tyler voted to confirm several of Jackson's appointments, including Jackson's future running mate Martin Van Buren as United States Minister to Britain.


John Tyler voted to sustain the veto and endorsed Jackson in his successful bid for reelection.


John Tyler, who sympathized with South Carolina's reasons for nullification, rejected Jackson's use of military force against a state and gave a speech in February 1833 outlining his views.


John Tyler supported Clay's Compromise Tariff, enacted that year, to gradually reduce the tariff over ten years, alleviating tensions between the states and the federal government.


In voting against the Force Bill, John Tyler knew he would permanently alienate the pro-Jackson faction of the Virginia legislature, even those who had tolerated his irregularity up to this point.


Jackson further offended John Tyler by moving to dissolve the Bank by executive fiat.


John Tyler saw this as "a flagrant assumption of power", a breach of contract, and a threat to the economy.


John Tyler is the only US president to have held this office.


John Tyler was offered a judgeship in exchange for resigning his seat, but he declined.


John Tyler understood what was to come: the legislature would soon force him to cast a vote that went against his constitutional beliefs.


John Tyler issued a letter of resignation to Vice President Van Buren on February 29,1836, saying in part:.


John Tyler had been suggested as a vice presidential candidate since early 1835, and the same day the Virginia Democrats issued the expunging instruction, the Virginia Whigs nominated him as their candidate.


John Tyler hoped electors would be unable to elect a vice president, and that he would be one of the top two vote-getters, from whom the Senate, under the Twelfth Amendment, must choose.


John Tyler received only 47 electoral votes, from Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, in the November 1836 election, trailing both Granger and the Democratic candidate, Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky.


John Tyler had been drawn into Virginia politics as a US senator.


John Tyler was focused on his Senate career, which required a broad base of support, and gave speeches during the convention promoting compromise and unity.


Unable to remain away from politics, John Tyler successfully sought election to the House of Delegates and took his seat in 1838.


John Tyler was a national political figure by this point, and his third delegate service touched on such national issues as the sale of public lands.


John Tyler attended the convention and was with the Virginia delegation, although he had no official status.


Not much attention was given to the choice, and the specifics of how John Tyler came to gain it are unclear.


Chitwood pointed out that John Tyler was a logical candidate: as a Southern slaveowner, he balanced the ticket and assuaged the fears of Southerners who felt Harrison might have abolitionist leanings.


John Tyler had been a vice-presidential candidate in 1836, and having him on the ticket might win Virginia, the most populous state in the South.


John Tyler's name was submitted in the balloting, and though Virginia abstained, he received the necessary majority.


In campaign materials, John Tyler was praised for integrity in resigning over the state legislature's instructions.


The fact that Harrison lived on a palatial estate along the Ohio River and that John Tyler was well-to-do was ignored, while log cabin images appeared everywhere, from banners to whiskey bottles.


The presidential candidate's military service was emphasized, thus the well known campaign jingle, "Tippecanoe and John Tyler Too", referring to Harrison's victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe.


John Tyler privately expressed hopes that Harrison would prove decisive and not allow intrigue in the Cabinet, especially in the first days of the administration.


John Tyler did not participate in selecting the Cabinet, and did not recommend anyone for federal office in the new Whig administration.


John Tyler was sworn in on March 4,1841, in the Senate chamber, and delivered a three-minute speech about states' rights before swearing in the new senators and then attending Harrison's inauguration.


John Tyler left Williamsburg and arrived in Washington at dawn the next day.


The Cabinet met within an hour of Harrison's death and, according to a later account, determined that John Tyler would be "vice-president acting president".


John Tyler considered the oath redundant to his oath as vice president, but wished to quell any doubt over his accession.


John Tyler's record was in turn surpassed by his immediate successor James Polk, who was inaugurated at the age of 49.


Mississippi Senator Robert J Walker, in opposition, said that the idea that Tyler was still vice president and could preside over the Senate was absurd.


John Tyler was called by many mocking nicknames, including "His Accidency".


John Tyler was considered a strong leader for his decisive action on his accession to the presidency.


John Tyler proposed an alternative fiscal plan known as the "Exchequer", but Clay's friends who controlled the Congress would have none of it.


John Tyler was lambasted by Whig newspapers and received hundreds of letters threatening his assassination.


John Tyler supported a plan to distribute to the states any revenue from the sales of public land, as an emergency measure to manage the states' growing debt, even though this would cut federal revenue.


John Tyler signed the Tariff of 1842 on August 30, pocket vetoing a separate bill to restore distribution.


In May 1841, President John Tyler appointed three private citizens to investigate fraud in the New York Customs House that supposedly took place under President Martin Van Buren.


The commission's investigation caused controversy with the Whig-controlled Congress, which demanded to see the investigation report and was upset that John Tyler paid the commission without Congressional approval.


John Tyler responded and said it was his constitutional duty to enforce the laws.


The congressional ill will towards John Tyler derived from the basis for his vetoes; until the presidency of the Whigs' archenemy Andrew Jackson, presidents rarely vetoed bills, and then only on grounds of constitutionality.


John Tyler's actions were in opposition to the presumed authority of Congress to make policy.


Six of the charges against John Tyler pertained to political abuse of power, while three concerned his alleged misconduct in office.


John Tyler was not without support in Congress, including fellow Virginia Congressman Henry Wise.


John Tyler had long been an advocate of expansionism toward the Pacific and free trade, and was fond of evoking themes of national destiny and the spread of liberty in support of these policies.


John Tyler's positions were largely in line with Jackson's earlier efforts to promote American commerce across the Pacific.


John Tyler advocated an increase in military strength and this drew praise from naval leaders, who saw a marked increase in warships.


The John Tyler administration was unsuccessful in concluding a treaty with the British to fix Oregon's boundaries.


John Tyler had an interest in the vast territory west of the Rockies known as Oregon, which extended from the northern boundary of California to the southern boundary of Alaska.


John Tyler's presidency had two popular successes in western exploration, including Oregon, Wyoming, and California.


In May 1842 when the Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island came to a head, John Tyler pondered the request of the governor and legislature to send in federal troops to help suppress it.


John Tyler called for calm on both sides and recommended that the governor enlarge the franchise to let most men vote.


John Tyler promised that in case an actual insurrection should break out in Rhode Island he would employ force to aid the regular, or Charter, government.


John Tyler made it clear that federal assistance would be given only to put down an insurrection once underway, and would not be available until violence had taken place.


John Tyler brought the long, bloody, and inhumane Seminole War to an end in May 1842, in a message to Congress.


John Tyler expressed interest in the forced cultural assimilation of Native Americans.


John Tyler received little support from Democrats and, without much support from either major party in Congress, a number of his nominations were rejected without regard for the qualifications of the nominee.


John Tyler repeatedly renominated Cushing, who was rejected three times in one day, March 3,1843, the last day of the 27th Congress.


John Tyler was able to appoint only six other federal judges, all to United States district courts.


John Tyler made the annexation of the Republic of Texas part of his agenda soon after becoming president.


John Tyler knew he was a President without a party, and was emboldened to challenge party leaders of Clay and Van Buren, unconcerned how Texas annexation would affect the Whigs or Democrats.


Biographer Edward C Crapol notes that during the presidency of James Monroe, Tyler had suggested slavery was a "dark cloud" hovering over the Union, and that it would be "well to disperse this cloud" so that with fewer blacks in the older slave states, a process of gradual emancipation would begin in Virginia and other upper Southern states.


John Tyler elicited the help of political organizer Michael Walsh to build a political machine in New York.


In exchange for an appointment as consul to Hawaii, journalist Alexander G Abell wrote a flattering biography, Life of John Tyler, which was printed in large quantities and given to postmasters to distribute.


Shortly after the dedication, John Tyler learned of Legare's sudden death, which dampened the festivities and caused him to cancel the rest of the tour.


John Tyler was unhurt, having remained safely below deck, but a number of others were killed instantly, including his crucial cabinet members, Gilmer and Upshur.


John Tyler used his vast presidential patronage power, and formed a third party, the National Democratic, with the officeholders and political networks he had built over the previous year.


However, John Tyler's party was loosely organized, failed to nominate a Vice President, and had no platform.


John Tyler considered his work vindicated, and implied in an acceptance letter that annexation was his true priority rather than election.


John Tyler announced in his annual message to Congress that "a controlling majority of the people and a large majority of the states have declared in favor of immediate annexation".


On his last day in office, March 3,1845, John Tyler signed the bill into law.


John Tyler left Washington with the conviction that the newly inaugurated President Polk had the best interest of the nation.


John Tyler retired to a Virginia plantation, originally named Walnut Grove, located on the James River in Charles City County.


John Tyler renamed it Sherwood Forest, in a reference to the folk legend Robin Hood, to signify that he had been "outlawed" by the Whig Party.


John Tyler did not take farming lightly and worked hard to maintain large yields.


In 1852, John Tyler happily rejoined the ranks of the Virginia Democratic Party and thereafter kept interested in political affairs.


However, John Tyler rarely received visits from his former allies and was not sought out as an adviser.


Occasionally requested to deliver a public speech, John Tyler spoke during the unveiling of a monument to Henry Clay.


John Tyler acknowledged their political battles but spoke highly of his former colleague, whom he had always admired for bringing about the Compromise Tariff of 1833.


John Tyler's community organized a cavalry troop and a home guard company; John Tyler was chosen to command the home guard troops with the rank of captain.


John Tyler felt that they were written by the free state delegates, did not protect the rights of slave owners in the territories, and would do little to bring back the lower South and restore the Union.


John Tyler voted against the conference's seven resolutions, which the conference sent to Congress for approval late in February 1861 as a proposed Constitutional amendment.


John Tyler presided over the opening session on February 13,1861, while the Peace Conference was still underway.


John Tyler abandoned hope of compromise and saw secession as the only option, predicting that a clean split of all Southern states would not result in war.


John Tyler headed a committee that negotiated the terms for Virginia's entry into the Confederate States of America and helped set the pay rate for military officers.


John Tyler was seated in the Confederate Congress on August 1,1861, and he served until just before his death in 1862.


John Tyler's death was the only one in presidential history not to be officially recognized in Washington, because of his allegiance to the Confederate States of America.


John Tyler had requested a simple burial, but Confederate President Jefferson Davis devised a grand, politically pointed funeral, painting Tyler as a hero to the new nation.


John Tyler had been more loyal to Virginia and his own principles than to the Union of which he had been president.


John Tyler was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, near the gravesite of President James Monroe.


John Tyler has since been the namesake of several US locations, including the city of Tyler, Texas, named for him because of his role in the annexation of Texas.


John Tyler's presidency has provoked highly divided responses among political commentators.


Seager wrote that John Tyler "was neither a great president nor a great intellectual", adding that despite a few achievements, "his administration has been and must be counted an unsuccessful one by any modern measure of accomplishment".


John Tyler established the precedent that the vice president, on succeeding to the presidential office, should be president.


John Tyler had firm ideas on public policy, and he was disposed to use the full authority of his office.


John Tyler resented this, leading to the conflict between the branches that dominated his presidency.


John Tyler was a slaveholder, at one point keeping 40 slaves at Greenway.


John Tyler considered slavery a part of states' rights, and therefore the federal government lacked the authority to abolish it.


In December 1841, John Tyler was attacked by the abolitionist publisher Joshua Leavitt, with the unsubstantiated allegation that John Tyler had fathered several sons with his slaves, and later sold them.


John Tyler's wealth exceeded $50 million, but he became indebted during the Civil War and died much poorer.


Harrison Ruffin John Tyler was born in 1928 and maintains the family home, Sherwood Forest Plantation, in Charles City County, Virginia.