Here are top fun and interesting facts about John Tyler:
#1 He was born on March 29, 1790, at Greenway, his family’s 1200-acre James River estate in Charles City County, Virginia. John was the 2nd son among the 8 children of Mary Armistead and John Tyler.
#2 He was nicknamed “His Accidency,” because he was the first US vice president to become chief executive after the death of his predecessor – William Henry Harrison, who was the first U.S. president to die in office.
#3 Tyler assumed all the powers of the US president as well as the title. He made sure that he was quickly sworn-in. For instance, he even refused to open letters which were sent to “Acting President Tyler.” Also, he answered only to the title “president.” Later, the 25th Amendment (ratified after the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy) would describe the succession to the presidency.
#4 In his attempt to get elected to a 2nd term, John had a biography written titled – ”Life of John Tyler.” However, he alienated himself from his party when he went against the policies that his predecessor (William Henry Harrison) had campaigned on.
#5 His most notable accomplishment as a presided was making Florida part of the union. Moreover, he is remembered for his approval of the annexation of Texas.
#6 His father was governor of Virginia and a judge of the United States District Court. In 1813, his father passed away, leaving behind many slaves and properties, that were inherited by him.
#7 By 1807, he had graduated from college, and in the same year, he studied law with his father. Furthermore, he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Richmond for a short while afterward.
#8 At age 21, in 1811, he was elected to represent Charles City County in the House of Delegates. John served 5 successive 1-year terms and sat on the Courts and Justice committee.
#9 When Missouri applied for statehood, in 1820, he opposed the famed Missouri Compromise, that limited the spread of slavery to only a few territories.
#10 In 1827, John resigned as the governor when he was elected to the U.S Senate. In the United States Senate, he stayed until 1835. He, later on, joined the Whig Party of Clay, Calhoun, and Webster after leaving the Democratic-Republican Party.
#11 He was playing a game of marbles when he was given the information that William Henry Harrison died.
#12 His first wife, Letitia Christian, was the daughter of a wealthy planter – Colonel Robert Christian. They had eight children. However, in 1839, his wife had a stroke and could not perform the traditional First Lady duties.
#13 A few months after Letitia Christian’s death, he began courting 23-year-old Julia Gardiner (who was 30 years younger than him). They married on June 26, 1844, in a small ceremony in the Church of the Ascension, New York City. Top newspapers covered the wedding at that time.
#14 This was the first time a president married while in office. The tradition of playing “Hail to the Chief” (the tradition of song’s playing accompanies the appearance of the US president at many public events) whenever a president appears at state functions was started by his second wife, Julia.
#15 In 1840, the Whig Party nominated John for vice president, with William Henry Harrison to appeal to states’ rights Southerners. They shared a short time in office together and were known as “Tippecanoe and Tyler too.”
#16 When he vetoed a bill establishing a national bank, all but one of his Cabinet members resigned in protest. He also vetoed a few bills brought to the White House and, as a result, he was eventually expelled from the party since they couldn’t cooperate with him.
#17 When Civil War seemed inevitable (16 years after leaving office), he chaired a peace conference between representatives from the South and North with the goal of keeping the Union intact.
#18 On January 18, 1862, he died after suffering a stroke in Richmond, Virginia. He was buried on January 21, 1862, with his coffin draped in the Confederate flag in Hollywood Cemetery. He is the only US president whose death was not officially recognized in the US capital, plus, the only one buried under a foreign flag.
#19 One of 23 presidential collections in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, the John Tyler Papers, contains more than 1,400 items dating from 1757 and 1918.
#20 Interestingly, he has two surviving grandsons – Harrison Ruffin Tyler (born in 1928) and Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. (born in 1924). They are the sons of Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr., one of his 15 children.