President: John Tyler

10th President of the United States, 1841-1845

Biography Read: “John Tyler: The Accidental President” by Edward Crapol.

Key Facts: Whig Party. Attended William and Mary College. Born March 1790 in Virginia. He died in 1862 during the second year of the Civil War

Notable Facts:

  • John Tyler died the second year of the caviler war (the same year as Martin Van Buren – 8th President). His death wasn’t recognized by President Lincoln because he betrayed the USA by supporting the Confederate States.
  • Tyler had a strong belief in religious freedom and separation of church and state. He applied this belief to all religions.
  • John Tyler was called “His Accidence” because he was the first Vice President to succeed the Presidency. He became the 10th President when William Henry Harrison died in office in 1841.
  • Tyler was ambivalent about slavery, believed in white supremacy, and subscribed to American Exceptionalism.
  • He was born in Virginia on a slave plantation to a wealthy family. He was in the political and social elite.
  • He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates at age 21.
  • He was later elected to the House and Senate. He also served a Governor of Virginia.
  • In 1826 he presented the eulogy upon Thomas Jefferson, whom he knew.
  • He voted for Virginia to succeed from the Union.
  • He had 15 Kids (the most of any President).
  • Charles Dickens felt Tyler had good manners and regal bearing.
  • Tyler was opposed to a National Bank.
  • Tyler set the precedent for Vice Presidential succession. Since that time it has been used eight times. These include Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy (assassinations) and Harding, Roosevelt, Harrison and Taylor (death).
  • John Tyler owned over 50 slaves.
  • He pushed for American Expansion and wanted to acquire Texas, California, and Oregon.
  • John Tyler’s father was roommates with Thomas Jefferson at the College of William and Mary.
  • When visiting Niagara Falls, he refused to cross into Canada to view the falls because it was British Territory.
  • He believed in “diffusion” as the answer to slavery. As more land was acquired, slaves would be less densely populated making it easier to end slavery.
  • When he was elected as a Senator to Virginia, he tried to sell a slave he owned to raise money to travel to Washington.
  • It is rumored that John Tyler father two boys with his female slaves and then sold them.
  • John Tyler actively fought against recognizing Haiti because it was a black nation formed from a slave uprising.
  • Although it didn’t go anywhere, John Tyler was the first President in US History to face impeachment proceedings.
  • The Tyler administration was the first to recognize the independence of Hawaii.
  • Tyler dedicated the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.
  • He was the first to send a delegation to China. This resulted in a treaty which opened up trade between the two nations.
  • Tyler coerced postmaster to purchase and distribute campaign biographies about him.
  • Julia Gardiner was Tyler’s second wife. They married on June 26th, 1844. He was 54 years old and she was 24 years old. They later had 7 children.
  • Tyler was responsible for bringing the Lone Star Republic (Texas) into the Union. He accomplished this by dropping out of the Presidential election and throwing his support to Democrat Polk (Tyler was a Whig officially). Polk supported Texas and gave Tyler the needed votes.
  • Tyler, Texas is named after him.
  • John Tyler believed he might be chosen for the Democratic nomination in 1860. The Democrats has a split party with both sides supporting slavery. Meanwhile, the Republican Party choose Abraham Lincoln who felt slavery was evil. The Republican platform called for a banning of the expansion of slavery.
  • John Tyler emotionally pledged on the grave of his Virginian ancestors to protect the south against Republican abolitionists.
  • When Lincoln won, Tyler supported succession and the Civil War. On December 20th, 1860, South Carolina seceded followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Virginia (Tyler’s home state) soon followed at his urging.
  • John Tyler was a noted racist (even given the time period) and a white supremacist.
  • During the Civil War, the Union Army looted Tyler’s estate.
  • He died during the War and remains the sole Traitor President.

Casey Ryan Richards

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