Archive for April 7th, 2008

John Tyler (1841-1845)

  • Honest John
  • His Accidency
  • The President without a Party
  • Traitor Tyler
  • The Veto President



John Tyler was the first Vice President to assume the office of President after William Henry Harrison’s untimely death one month into his term. The 25th Ammendment which codifies the assumption of power was not actually ratified until 1967. In Tyler’s time, some were calling for an acting president or “acting caretaker” to be named until a new election could be held. Harrison’s cabinet objected (fearing no legislation would get through) and Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841.


Tyler was rarely taken serioulsy during his time in office. Tyler had been expected to adhere closely with the Whig party (of which he was a member). But, Tyler shocked party members by vetoing virtually their entire agenda. Tyler was officially expelled from the Whig party in 1841, months after taking office.


Tyler advocated the annexation of Texas which most of the Whig party opposed as it would upset the balance between North and South and risked war with Mexico. Tyler pushed Congress to annex Texas through an adopted joint resolution which they did. Tyler finally got word to his representative in Texas on March 3, 1845 (Tyler’s last day in office) to officially announce the annexation. After a period of instinctual scepticism, James K. Polk confirmed the annexation and Texas was formally admitted to the union in December 1845.


  • Tyler was playing marbles when he learned that he was to be president
  • Tyler was the first president to have his veto overridden.
  • Only president to have served as President pro tempore of the Senate
  • Tyler had the most children of any President (with 15)
  • Twenty years after leaving office, Tyler joined the Confederacy, becoming the only President to be a sworn enemy of the United States
  • Tyler was great-unle of Harry S. Truman
  • Tyler’s second wife initiated the practice of having “Hail to the Chief” played everytime the president entered the room.

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