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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History




10th President (1841-1845)

Born: March 29, 1790
Died: January 18, 1862

Vice President: None

Political Party: Whig

Next President: James Polk

Previous President: William Henry Harrison

John Tyler

John Tyler lived an interesting life and wound up president under the most peculiar circumstances the country had ever seen. He was born into a wealthy Virginia family and decided to pursue politics at an early age. When Tyler was active in presidential politics, it was at a time when the vice president was elected and not part of a ticket with the presidential candidates. Tyler ran for president as part of the Whig Party because he had a falling out with Democratic Party leaders at the time Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. He won the office of vice president after finishing second to fellow Whig William Henry Harrison in the Electoral College. But it was how Tyler became president, and what he did when he became president, that makes him unique in American history.

Tyler was a proud man that was used to getting things the way he wanted them. When William Henry Harrison died after only 32 days in office, vice president Tyler sensed the Constitutional crisis that was unfolding and stepped in as president. Rather than argue with him, the Congress created the 25th Amendment to the Constitution which names the succession of the presidency. Many politicians at the time felt that there should have been a new general election, but the process was too costly and would take too long. Because many of his political opponents did not recognize Tyler as president, they would refer to his "Presidency" as his "Accidency." Since the vice president was an elected position in those days, Tyler could not appoint a new vice president. That means that he went through his entire term without a vice president.

John Tyler married Letitia Christian in 1841. The couple had seven children together that all lived well into adulthood. Letitia Tyler is the first wife of a president to die while the president was in office. She passed away on September 10, 1842 of presumably natural causes. She was only 51 years old. In 1844, John Tyler married Julia Gardner and the couple had seven children together. She remained married to John Tyler until his death on January 18, 1862.

The falling out that Tyler had with the Democratic-Republican Party just before he ran for president in 1840 had soured Tyler’s opinion of national politics. When his term was up in 1844, he chose not to seek re-election. Many speculate that the attempt to have Tyler impeached over his veto of a tariff law also helped push Tyler out of national politics.

Notable John Tyler Quotes

"Let it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man's conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God."

The Only President to...

"John Tyler is the only president not to be officially mourned in Washington upon his death (due to his allegiance to the Confederacy). Also, since he died in Virginia, he is often considered the first president to die outside the United States since Virginia was a member of the Confederate States of America at the time."

Interesting John Tyler Facts

John Tyler was the first Vice President to be elevated to the presidency because of the death of his predecessor. This fact earned him the nickname "His Accidency".

Recommended Books
About John Tyler