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This article is about the 10th U.S. president. For his father, see John Tyler, Sr..

John Tyler, Jr.

Daguerreotype of President Tyler taken in 1845 by Brady

10th President of the United StatesIn office April 4, 1841 March 4, 1845 Vice President None Preceded by Succeeded by William Henry Harrison James K. Polk

10th Vice President of the United StatesIn office March 4, 1841 April 4, 1841 President Preceded by William Henry Harrison Richard Mentor Johnson

Succeeded by

George Dallas

23rd Governor of VirginiaIn office December 10, 1825 March 4, 1827 Preceded by Succeeded by James Pleasants William Branch Giles

President pro tempore of the United States SenateIn office March 3, 1835 December 6, 1835 President Preceded by Succeeded by Andrew Jackson George Poindexter William R. King

United States Senator from VirginiaIn office March 4, 1827 February 29, 1836 Preceded by Succeeded by John Randolph of Roanoke William C. Rives

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 23rd districtIn office December 17, 1816 March 3, 1821 Preceded by John Clopton

Succeeded by

Andrew Stevenson


March 29, 1790(1790-03-29) Charles City County, Virginia January 18, 1862(1862-01-18) (aged 71) Richmond, Virginia John Tyler, Jr.


Birth name

Political party Whig, independent, Democratic Letitia Christian (18131842; her death) Julia Gardiner (18441862; his death) Mary Tyler Robert Tyler John Tyler Letitia Tyler Elizabeth Tyler Anne Contesse Tyler Alice Tyler Tazewell Tyler David Gardiner Tyler John Alexander Tyler Julia Gardiner Tyler Lachlan Tyler Lyon Gardiner Tyler Robert Fitzwalter Tyler Pearl Tyler (allegations of Tyler being the father of John Dunjee have also risen) The College of William and Mary Lawyer Episcopal (possibly Deist)[3]



Alma mater Occupation Religion


Military service Service/branch Volunteer Military Company Years of service 1813

John Tyler, Jr. (March 29, 1790 January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (18411845) and the first to succeed to the office following the death of a predecessor. A longtime Democratic-Republican, Tyler was nonetheless elected Vice President on the Whig ticket. Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison on April 4, 1841, only a month after his inauguration, the nation was briefly in a state of confusion regarding the process of succession. Ultimately the situation was settled with Tyler becoming President both in name and in fact. Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841, setting a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually be codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Once he became president, he stood against his party's platform and vetoed several of their proposals. In result, most of his cabinet resigned and the Whigs expelled him from their party. Arguably the most famous and significant achievement of Tyler's administration was the annexation of the Republic of Texas in 1845. Tyler was the first president born after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, the only president to have held the office of President pro tempore of the Senate, and the only former president elected to office in the government of the Confederacy during the Civil War (though he died before he assumed said office). John Tyler, Jr., was born on March 29, 1790 in Charles City County, Virginia (the same county where William Henry Harrison was born).[1] Tyler's father was John Tyler, Sr., and his mother was Mary Armistead Tyler.[1] Tyler was raised, along with seven siblings, to be a part of the region's elite gentry, receiving a very good education.[1] He was brought up believing that the Constitution of the United States was to be strictly interpreted, and reportedly never lost this conviction.[2] While Tyler was growing up, his father, a friend of Thomas Jefferson, owned a tobacco plantation of over 1,000 acres (4 km2) served by dozens of slaves, and worked as a judge at the U.S. Circuit Court at Richmond, Virginia; the elder Tyler's advocacy of states' rights maintained his power.[1] When Tyler was seven years old, his mother died from a stroke. At the age of twelve he entered the preparatory branch of the College of William and Mary, enrolling into the collegiate program there three years later.[1] Tyler graduated from the college in 1807, at age seventeen.[1]

[edit] Lawyer, the War of 1812, and early political careerJohn Tyler went on to study law with his father, who became Governor of Virginia (18081811). He was admitted to the bar in 1809 and started practice in Charles City County. He also supported the United States' fight against Britain during the War of 1812, and he took command of a small militia company, though he saw no action.[1] He became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1811, and in 1816 was named a member of the council of state.

First wife, Letitia Christian Tyler

[edit] U.S. House of RepresentativesTyler was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Clopton. Reelected to the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses, he served in the House of Representatives from December 17, 1816, to March 3, 1821. While in Congress, Tyler was a leader in opposing the Missouri Compromise.

[edit] Virginia politicsTyler declined to be a candidate for renomination to Congress in 1820 because of impaired health. Instead, he became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Charles City County, serving from 1823 to 1825. Tyler was then elected to be the Governor of Virginia (18251827). He was well known for opposing legislation which gave more power to the national government. In 1829 and 1830, he served as a member of the Virginia state constitutional convention. During this period, a major realignment of American politics was taking place. Following the 1824 election, the dominant Democratic-Republican party, of which Tyler was a member, split into two factions. The Andrew Jackson faction would shortly evolve into the Democratic Party. The John Quincy Adams-Henry Clay faction would eventually coalesce into the Whig Party. Tyler had supported Adams in 1824. Afterwards, however, because Adams supported nationallyfunded internal improvements, Tyler joined the Jackson faction and became a Democrat.

[edit] U.S. SenateTyler was elected as a Jacksonian to the United States Senate in 1827. He was reelected in 1833 and served from March 4, 1827, to February 29, 1836, when he resigned. Tyler supported Jackson in both the 1828 and 1832 elections, and backed him when he vetoed the Bank of the United States recharter in 1832. However, starting with the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33, Tyler drifted away from the Jacksonian Democrats. During the Nullification Crisis, Tyler opposed the force bill allowing Jackson to use armed force to collect tariff revenues in

South Carolina. While other senators opposing the bill abstained, Tyler cast the only opposing vote as the bill passed 321. By 1836, Tyler was closer to Henry Clay's newly formed Whigs than Jackson's Democrats. That year, Virginia's legislature instructed its senators to vote to expunge the Senate's 1834 censure of Jackson from the record. Rather than do so, Tyler resigned his seat.[3] In the Senate, Tyler served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Twenty-third Congress (the only President to have served as President pro tempore of the Senate), and was chair of the Committee on the District of Columbia (Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses), as well as the Committee on Manufactures (Twenty-third Congress).

[edit] 1836 presidential electionIn 1836, the new Whig party was not organized enough to hold a national convention and name a single ticket against Jackson's chosen successor, Martin Van Buren. Instead, Whigs in various states proposed three regional candidates, Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison, and Hugh White. Tyler was named as a vice-presidential candidate and ran with Harrison in some states and White in others.[3] He finished third, receiving 47 electoral votes.

[edit] Return to Virginia politicsAfter leaving the U.S. Senate, Tyler served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1838 from Williamsburg. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1839.

[edit] 1840 Presidential electionAt the Whigs' convention, Tyler supported Henry Clay's presidential candidacy. After Clay was passed over for William Henry Harrison, Tyler was named as Harrison's running mate. Their opponent was Democratic incumbent Martin Van Buren. The Whigs' 1840 campaign slogans of "Log Cabins and Hard Cider" and "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" are among the most famous in American politics. "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" not only offered the slight sectionalism that would further be apparent in the presidency of Tyler, but also the nationalism that was imperative to gain the American vote. Harrison and Tyler won the election by an electoral vote of 234-60 and a popular vote of 53%47%. On March 4, 1841, Tyler was inaugurated as the tenth Vice-President of the United States.

[edit] Vice-Presidency 1841Largely ignored by the men who were pressuring Harrison to give them jobs, Tyler stayed in Washington, D.C. only long enough to be inaugurated Vice President on March 4 and to preside over the next day's Senate confirmation of Harrison's cabinet. On March 5 he returned to his home in Williamsburg, Virginia, not even staying through the close of the Senate's session.[4] Harrison sought little of Tyler's advice, and Tyler reportedly offered none.[4] Secretary of State Daniel Webster sent word to Tyler of Harrison's illness on April 1; two days later, Richmond attorney James Lyons wrote with the news that the President had taken a turn f