Sunday, June 5, 2011
The American President #10: John Tyler
Please feel free to add anything you want about John Tyler!
- Born March 29, 1790 at Greenway Plantation in Virginia; Died January 18, 1862 in Richmond, Virginia
- One term President April 4, 1841- March 4, 1845 (took office upon death of William Henry Harrison)
-Nickname: Accidental President
- Governor of Virginia: 1825-1827; US Senator: 1827-1836; Vice-President: March-April 1841
According to article 2, Section 6 of the Constitution the wording leaves the potential for some doubt as to whether the VP should automatically be sworn in to office upon the death of the President. Tyler believed it was clear cut and that he would assume all duties and perks of the office, while others viewed him as just a rubber stamp until a new President was elected. It was eventually accepted that the VP would in fact become President upon removal of the current President.
Leader of the Whig Party - Henry Clay - would soon cause problems. Clay pushed to reinstate the Bank of the United States and Tyler vetoed. This caused a public break and Tyler would leave the Whig party. He was now a President without a party, which left him open to congressional action. Tyler narrowly escaped a vote to impeach him in 1843.
Tyler worked hard for the annexation of Texas and had to fight hard to make sure it was his legacy and not that of James Polk - entire books have been written on the subject. Using the slogan "Tyler and Texas" he was able to get the law passed just 3 days before he left office, though Texas did not accept nor become a state until several months later during th Polk presidency.
Tyler was the first to marry while in office, to a woman 30 years younger than him, and it was not received well by the public nor his family.
Tyler joined the Confederacy during the Civil War and became the only President who later became sworn enemy of the US
- Tyler was father to 15 children, the most by any President in history
- Tyler did not give an inaugural address
- Tyler's wife began the practice of playing Hail to the Chief to signal arrival at state functions
-9/11/1841: Tyler's entire cabinet (except Daniel Webster) resigns in protest
- 3/3/1842: MA passes chiuld labor law of 10 hours per day maximum
- 5/24/1844: Samuel F.B. Morse sends the first telegraphic message "What hath God wrought" between Washington DC and Baltimore