John Tyler
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John Tyler

Born: Mar 29, 1790 Virginia
Died: Jan 18, 1862  Virginia

Married: Letitia Christian  who died during his presidency
Married: Julia Gardner

Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Whig

Height: 6'
VP: none (1841-1845)

US Population 1841: 17,069,453
Stars in the Flag 1845: 27
Stars added: FL


10th President 1841-1845

John Tyler was the first vice president to ascend to the presidency upon the death of a president. He was also the president with the most children - 15.

Born in Virginia, Tyler was raised believing that the Constitution must be strictly adhered to. He never waivered from that conviction.

He attended the College of William and Mary and studied law.

Serving as a member of the House of Representatives from 1816-1821, Tyler voted against most national legislation and opposed the Monroe Doctrine. . He also served as Governor of Virginia and as a US Senator. He helped form the Whig political party. He joined the States Rights Southerners in Congress who banded Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and the newly formed Whig Party opposing President Jackson.  The Whigs nominated him for President in 1840.

Suddenly President Harrison was dead and Tyler was President. He insisted on assuming the full powers of a duly elected President.

Tyler was ready to compromise on the banking question, but Clay would not budge. Tyler vetoes Clay's bill to establish a national bank with branches in several states.  He also vetoed a similar bill passed by Congress.

In retaliation, the Whigs expelled him from their party. All the Cabinet resigned except Secretary of State Webster. One year later, when Tyler vetoed a tariff bill, the first impeachment resolution against a President was introduced in the House of Representatives. A committee headed by John Quincy Adams reported that Tyler had misused his veto power, but the resolution failed.

Despite their differences, Tyler and the Whig Congress enacted much positive legislation.  The "Log Cabin" bill  enabled settlers to claim 160 acres of land before it was offered publically for sale and l later pay $1.25 per acre for it. 

In 1842, Tyler did sign a tariff bill protecting northern manufacturers, the Webster-Ashburton treaty ended a Canadian boundary dispute, and in 1845 Texas was annexed.

The administration of the states rights strengthened the Presidency. But it also increased sectional cleavage that led toward civil war. Tyler replaced the original Whig Cabinet with Southern conservatives. In 1844, Calhoun became Secretary of State. Later these men returned to the Democratic party, committed to the preservation of states' rights, planter interests, and the institution of slavery. Whigs became more representative of northern business and farming interests.

When the first southern states seceded in 1861, Tyler led a compromise movement. Failing, he worked to  create a Southern Confederacy.

He died in 1862 - a member of the House of Representatives.


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