John Tyler Biography

(10th President of the United States (1841-1845))

Birthday: March 29, 1790 (Aries)

Born In: Charles City, Virginia, United States

John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States of America is best remembered for approving the annexation of Texas and bringing Florida into the folds of the Union. Before he became the President of the United States, he essayed several roles in the field of public service, beginning from a state legislator, to becoming a governor. Later he was selected as a U.S. representative and then as the U.S. senator and finally went on to become the Vice President. He has the distinction of being the first vice president, who went on to become the U.S. President, due the death of the incumbent President, William Henry Harrison in this case. Tyler had a tough run in the presidential office, as his actions were not supported by either of the major parties present in American politics at that time. His detractors dubbed him as “His Accidency”. As a result, today his presidency is not really remembered as a success story. Despite best of intentions, due to the widespread political opposition, Tyler was not able to make any phenomenal contributions in American politics.
Quick Facts

Died At Age: 71


Spouse/Ex-: Julia Gardiner Tyler (m. 1844–1862), Letitia Christian Tyler (m. 1813–1842)

father: John Tyler Sr.

mother: Mary Marot (Armistead)

children: Alice Tyler, Anne Contesse Tyler, David Gardiner Tyler, Elizabeth Tyler, John Alexander Tyler, John Tyler, Julia Gardiner Tyler Spencer, Lachlan Tyler, Letitia Tyler Semple, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Mary Tyler, Pearl Tyler, Robert Fitzwalter Tyler, Robert Tyler, Tazewell Tyler

Presidents Political Leaders

political ideology: Independent (1841–1862), Democratic-Republican (Before 1825)

Died on: January 18, 1862

place of death: Richmond, Virginia, United States

U.S. State: Virginia

Cause of Death: Stroke

Notable Alumni: College Of William & Mary

Ancestry: British American

More Facts

education: College Of William & Mary

  • 1

    What was John Tyler's political party?

    John Tyler was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party before becoming a Whig.

  • 2

    What was the significance of John Tyler's presidency?

    John Tyler was the first Vice President to succeed to the presidency due to the death of a sitting president, setting important precedents for future successions.

  • 3

    What was John Tyler's stance on the annexation of Texas?

    John Tyler was a strong advocate for the annexation of Texas and successfully pushed for its annexation during his presidency.

  • 4

    How did John Tyler handle the issue of states' rights during his presidency?

    John Tyler strongly supported states' rights and often clashed with his own party, the Whigs, over issues such as tariffs and internal improvements.

  • 5

    What was John Tyler's role in the Treaty of Wanghia with China?

    John Tyler's administration negotiated the Treaty of Wanghia, which marked the beginning of formal relations between the United States and China.

Childhood & Early Life
John Tyler was born in an aristocratic and politically well-connected family of Charles City County, Virginia. Born in a well to do family, John Tyler, along with his seven other siblings received best education available at the time.
In 1807, at the age of 17, he graduated with a law degree from the College of William and Mary.
In 1809, he was admitted to the bar, after which he worked for a well-known law firm in Richmaond, for sometime.
His father John Tyler, Sr. became Governor of Virginia in 1808 and retained the post till 1811.
His father passed away in 1813, leaving behind a number of properties and slaves, which were inherited by him.
Continue Reading Below
From 1811 to 1816, Tyler served as the member of Virginia House of Delegates.With the outbreak of the War of 1812 and later capture of Hampton Virginia by British troops in 1813, he organized a small militia group to defend Richmond but was not involved in any military action.
Later in 1816, he was elected as the Democratic-Republican candidate to the House of Representatives, a position he held till 1821, after being selected for a second term.
After completing his stint in the Congress, he went back to serving as the member of the Virginia State House of Delegates, where he was elected as the governor of the state in 1825 and continued in that position till 1827.
As a governor, he came to be known as the supporter of states' rights and a staunch non believer in any form of focused federal power.
Due to his political beliefs, Tyler sided with the newly established Whig party, which was formed by Henry Clay and Daniel Webster and wholeheartedly opposed the policies of President Andrew Jackson.
In 1840, William Henry Harrison decided to run for the presidency and Tyler was nominated by the Whig Party as his running mate. They were successful and went into office in March 1841.
On April 4, 1841 just after a month President Harrison died due to pneumonia, leaving behind a vacant presidential chair, which was occupied by Tyler.
Through his actions, Tyler set forward the precedents concerning Presidential succession.
His presidency was full of perils, as he did not abide by the Whig Party beliefs and tread his own line; he was expelled from the party for vetoing the bill that aimed to revive the Bank of the United States.
Continue Reading Below
Next year in 1842, he once again vetoed the tariff bills, This made him further unpopular among the congress and led to initiation of impeachment proceedings against him; however, the matter did not pick up momentum.
Throughout the administrative upheavals during his term, Tyler did manage to hit some important political homeruns, like bringing an end to the war of Second Seminole in 1842.
In 1844, he brought in the Treaty of Wanghia, which allowed Americans to carry trade at Chinese ports and also granted them extraterritorial rights.
In the same year, i.e. in 1844 he agreed to the annexation of Texas, as part of the Union and in November he withdrew his candidacy from the presidential re-election in support of James Polk.
After this he retired from the electoral politics, he returned to the public life, as head the Peace Convention, which was organized in 1861.
Personal Life & Legacy
His first wife Letitia Christian, was the daughter of Colonel Robert Christian, a wealthy planter. The couple together had eight children.
Letitia passed away in September 1842, in the White House and two years later Tyler tied the knot with Julia Gardiner with whom he fathered seven children.
John Tyler suffered from ill health all his life and finally succumbed to death at the age of 72, after suffering from a stroke.
His legacy lives on in number of places and public institutions that have been named after him; these include the city of Tyler in Texas, John Tyler High School, John Tyler Community College in Virginia etc.
Several books and biographies have been written about him, which include, ‘And Tyler Too: A Biography of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler’ authored by Robert Seager II, in 1963, ‘The Republican Vision of John Tyler’ published in 2003, and ‘John Tyler, the Accidental President’ written by Edward P. Crapol in 2006.
Facts About John Tyler

John Tyler was the first vice president to assume the presidency following the death of a sitting president, when he took over after William Henry Harrison's untimely passing in 1841.

Tyler fathered more children than any other U.S. president, with a total of 15 children throughout his two marriages.

He was the first president to marry while in office, tying the knot with his second wife, Julia Gardiner, in 1844.

John Tyler was an avid supporter of states' rights and believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, often clashing with his own party, the Whigs, over these principles.

Despite leaving office in 1845, Tyler continued to be active in politics and even served as a member of the Confederate House of Representatives during the Civil War.

See the events in life of John Tyler in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- John Tyler Biography
- Editors,

People Also Viewed

John Tyler Biography
John Tyler
Donald Trump Biography
Donald Trump
Joe Biden Biography
Joe Biden
Barack Obama Biography
Barack Obama
Jimmy Carter Biography
Jimmy Carter
Kathy Hochul Biography
Kathy Hochul
Kristi Noem Biography
Kristi Noem