|10th United States President
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|In office||Apr. 4, 1841 – Mar. 4, 1845|
|Political Party||Democratic-Republican Party (Before 1825), Democratic Party (1825–1834), Whig Party (1834–1841)|
|Born||Mar. 29, 1790|
|Died||Jan. 18, 1862 (at age 71)|
|School||College of William and Mary|
|Wives||Letitia Christian (1813–1842), Julia Gardiner (1844–1862)|
|Children||Mary Robert, John, Jr., Letitia, Elizabeth, Anne, Contesse, Alice Tazewell|
|U.S. Presidents 1-15|
|1. George Washington (1789–1797)|
|2. John Adams (1797-1801)|
|3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)|
|4. James Madison (1809-1817)|
|5. James Monroe (1817-1825)|
|6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)|
|7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)|
|8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)|
|9. William Henry Harrison (1841-1841)|
|10. John Tyler (1841-1845)|
|11. James Knox Polk (1845-1849)|
|12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)|
|13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)|
|14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)|
|15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)|
|List of All the Presidents|
“His Accidency”, John Tyler, was elected as the tenth United States President and was the first ever Vice President to succeed a deceased President (William Harrison).
Tyler was born on the 29th day of March in the year 1790 to Mary and John Tyler, Sr. and grew up in an aristocratic family based in Richmond, Virginia. His mother, a plantation heiress, suffered stroke when he was seven years old and passed on while his father, an American Revolution supporter and judge was close to Thomas Jefferson and was also active in the field of politics. Growing up with two brothers and five sisters at the Greenway Plantation, John Tyler was taught to believe in the strict adherence and understanding of the Constitution.
He spent his college years studying law at the William and Mary College, where his entire family went to school as well. His mentor, Bishop James Madison, was the president of the College who greatly influenced his political views. John graduated law and was admitted, at a young age of 19, to the bar when the judge who facilitated the examinations failed to inquire on certain details, particularly his age. Young John started practicing law while his father served as Governor of the State of Virginia.
Political and Military Careers
His early exposure to the political arena started when he was elected delegate by the residents of Charles County to the lower house of the General Assembly of Virginia. He served five consecutive years on the committee of Courts and Justice. By the end of his term, his political views have become clearer as he strongly upheld the opposition to the concept of a national bank. He supported the rights of the state and joined Benjamin Leigh, his fellow legislator, in censuring U.S. Senators, Richard Brent and William B. Giles, who were in agreement to rechartering the First Bank, against the instructions of the legislature.
Aside from his strong disapproval on this issue, he also called for military action on the onset of the War of 1812. His strong anti-British nationalism pushed him organize a small company of militia after the British took over Hampton in 1813. However, there weren’t any more attacks after two months, forcing him to dissolve the militia.
In 1816, he was elected as a Representative and served in the House for three terms. He consistently voted against nationalist legislation and led in opposing the Missouri Compromise in 1820. This was one of the defining issues that haunted the 16th Congress where Tyler served. It proposed the permission of slavery in Missouri, which was against Tyler’s views that such would only divide and diminish the union of states and would only expand federal authority. Despite his opposition, the bill was still passed. He did not seek Congressional renomination in 1820 due to illness and his dissatisfaction with the position. He went back to practicing law instead.
After his stint in the House, he became Governor of Virginia in 1825. His governorship was purely concentrated on supporting state rights and opposing concentrated federal power. He was re-elected in the following year, but during this period, an immense realignment was taking place in American politics. After the election of 1824, the Democratic-Republican Party split into two: the Andrew Jackson faction which became the Democratic Party and the Adams-Clay faction which eventually became the Whig party. Tyler supported the Adams-Clay faction but later joined the Democrats when Adams supported internal improvements that were nationally funded.
He resigned as governor in 1827 when he was elected for a seat in Congress. He was also pro tempore President in the 23rd Congress and reluctantly supported Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Tyler later on joined the Southerners that allied with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay to form a new Whig party that opposed President Jackson.
In 1840, the Whigs endorsed Tyler for Vice President, in the hopes of getting support from the states’-righters who disapprove of Jackson. However, Tyler was declared running mate to William H. Harrison and eventually won the elections. Tyler was then sworn in as U.S. Vice President in 1841. William Harrison contracted pneumonia after a month in office and died on April 4. With his unprecedented death, there was a question that caused considerable disarray with regard to his successor.
However, when Tyler went back to Washington on April 6, he has already resolved to take over the position and took oath in the hotel room he was staying in while the cabinet looked on. His claim was something that was not immediately well-received by the opposition in Congress. However, in June of the same year, the houses passed a resolution to officially declare Tyler as President, making him the first one to assume office upon a predecessor’s death. This became one of his major contributions as President – the setting of precedents regarding Presidential succession.
However, his presidency was met with a lot of conflicts from his own cabinet and former supporters. His entire cabinet, with the exception of Daniel Webster who was then Secretary of State, resigned one by one, in order to force his resignation from office. Tyler stood firm, but the Whigs expelled him from the party, leaving him without any affiliations during his term. As part of his few contributions in history, Tyler approved with the Congress to ratify the treaty of Webster-Ashburton which set the boundaries between Canada and Maine, an issue that led to the conflicts between the United States and Great Britain. It also sought to improve the diplomatic relations between Anglo-Americans.
Tyler was also a strong advocate of military force. His administration saw the remarkable increase in the number of naval warships that garnered praises from naval leaders. He also brought an end to the war of Second Seminole in 1842. Among the other treaties that he was able to bring in during his term include Wanghia in 1844, allowing America to trade freely in Chinese ports and giving it extraterritorial rights to Americans in China. Tyler also advocated the application of the Monroe Doctrine in Hawaii, which eventually spawned the process of Hawaii’s annexation to the mainland U.S. He also led the drive for Texas’ annexation. He formed a new party called Democratic Republicas which hailed the battle cry “Texas and Tyler!” and wanted the annexation to be his foundation for a re-election. The treaty was rejected but was later approved through a joint resolution by the House and Congress. After a few debates, Texas conformed to the terms and was entered as the 28th state in the U.S.
John Tyler’s Later Life
John Tyler withdrew from an attempt for re-election and supported James Polk who eventually won in November 1844. His retirement from electoral politics led him back to Charles County, Virginia where he still continued to give advice to states-rights Democrats. He went back to the public life to chair the Peace Convention in 1861, a convention that sought to prevent civil war when the Confederate Constitution was still being drawn up. He was also elected as house representative in the Confederate Congress. However he suffered from many illnesses that constantly haunted him since childhood. It is said that he suffered a stroke, just like his mother, and died in the 18th of January 1862.