This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2020)
John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the 10th president of the United States of America, from 1841 to 1845. He was the first vice president to become president after the president before him died. He was also the first president born after the United States Constitution was ratified.
|10th President of the United States|
April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845
|Preceded by||William Henry Harrison|
|Succeeded by||James K. Polk|
|10th Vice President of the United States|
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
|President||William Henry Harrison|
|Preceded by||Richard Mentor Johnson|
|Succeeded by||George M. Dallas|
|President pro tempore of the Senate|
March 4, 1835 – December 4, 1835
|Preceded by||George Poindexter|
|Succeeded by||William King|
|United States Senator|
March 4, 1827 – February 29, 1836
|Preceded by||John Randolph|
|Succeeded by||William Rives|
|23rd Governor of Virginia|
December 10, 1825 – March 4, 1827
|Preceded by||James Pleasants|
|Succeeded by||William Giles|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 23rd district
December 17, 1816 – March 5, 1821
|Preceded by||John Clopton|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Stevenson|
|Member of the Confederate States House of Representatives from Virginia's 1st Congressional District|
|Succeeded by||James Lyons|
|Born||March 29, 1790|
Charles City County, Virginia, U.S.A.
|Died||January 18, 1862 (aged 71)|
Richmond, Virginia, C.S.A.
|Political party||Whig (1834-1841), Independent (1841-1862)|
|Spouse(s)||Letitia Christian Tyler (1st wife)|
Julia Gardiner Tyler (2nd wife)
Tyler grew up in Virginia and became a lawyer. His father was also a lawyer who later became governor of Virginia. Tyler became a state representative in the United States Congress, and then also became governor of Virginia like his father.
Tyler started in government as a member of the Democratic Party, but later he changed to the Whig Party, which was very new. He was chosen to run as vice president next to William Henry Harrison. Whig Party people used to say "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" to get people to vote for them. (William Henry Harrison was famous for being a general in a battle in a place called Tippecanoe, and that was his nickname.)
Harrison and Tyler won the election, but Harrison died one month later. Tyler then became president.
Because Tyler had not been elected to hold the office of President, some people thought that he lacked a claim to the position. But as the United States Constitution says that the Vice President is vested with the responsibilities of the Presidency in case of "Death, Resignation or Inability" of the former, Tyler said this meant the position was his to fill. A majority of the government agreed and he was sworn in as the new president, however, the Whig Party did not want Tyler, and a lot of Whigs ended up calling him "the accidental president" or "His Accidency".
This was after Tyler had angered the Whigs when he decided to mainly pick people from the Democratic Party to work in his government. He wanted to bring the two parties to together, but instead this ended up making him unpopular. He also rejected many of the Whigs' ideas. This all lead to the Whig Party deciding not to back his run for the presidency in 1844.
While he was president, Florida became a new state. After winning their independence in the Texas Revolution against Mexico, Texas had become its own country. Tyler sought to annex Texas and turn it into a new U.S. state while in office, but this did not come to fruition until a few months after his term had ended.
The Whig Party did not want Tyler to be president again, and did not pick him to run for president in 1844. He had some friends in the Democratic Party who sometimes asked him for ideas, but that party did not like him enough to be president, either. Tyler was sometimes called "the President without a party" since both groups did not want him.
When the Confederate States of America was created, Tyler thought that states should be allowed to make their own laws, even about slavery. He did not want a civil war. Instead, he tried to get the United States to agree to let the southern states keep slavery. But the United States Congress said no, and Tyler decided that Virginia had to join the Confederacy. He later was elected to the Confederate congress, but died before taking the job.
Tyler died in Richmond, Virginia on January 18, 1862 of a stroke. Tyler's death was the only one in Presidential history not to be officially recognized in Washington, D. C. because of his loyalty to the Confederacy. His coffin was covered with the Confederate flag. He is the only United States President ever to be buried and honored ceremoniously under a foreign flag that is not the United States flag.