The New International Encyclopædia/Tyler, John

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The New International Encyclopædia
Tyler, John
Edition of 1905. See also John Tyler on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

TYLER, John (1790-1862). The tenth President of the United States. He was born at Greenway, in Charles City County, Virginia, March 29, 1790. He was the son of Judge John Tyler, who was Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, Governor of Virginia, and at different times a judge of the State and Federal courts. The son graduated at William and Mary College in 1807; was admitted to the bar in 1809: and became a member of the Legislature in 1811, where he acted with the Republicans and supported the war with Great Britain. He was continuously elected to the Legislature five times in succession until 1816, when he was chosen to Congress. In the House of Representatives, during the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Congresses, he acted with the States-Rights Republicans, condemned General Jackson's course in Florida, and opposed the United States Bank and the Missouri Compromise. In 1825 he was elected Governor of Virginia by the Legislature, and was unanimously reëlected the following year. At the close of his second term as Governor he was elected over John Randolph to the United States Senate, in which he opposed the tariff measures of 1828 and 1832, opposed nullification, but condemned Jackson's nullification proclamation, although he supported Jackson for the Presidency in 1832 and stood alone among the Senators in voting against the ‘Force Bill’ of 1833. He was reëlected to the Senate for a second term, and in 1834 made a report censuring President Jackson for removing the deposits from the United States Bank, and voted for Clay's resolution of censure against the President. Having subsequently been instructed by the Legislature of Virginia to vote for the expunging of the resolution of censure, he refused to obey the instructions, and in February, 1836, resigned his seat and retired to private life. Tyler was one of the leading members of the new Whig Party, and was one of the unsuccessful candidates for the Vice-Presidency in 1836. In 1840 he was elected Vice-President on the Whig ticket with General W. H. Harrison (q.v.). President Harrison died April 4, 1841, one month after his inauguration, and was succeeded by Tyler, who completely broke with the party that had elected him. He vetoed the bill to recharter the Bank of the United States, and when it was modified partly in accordance with his suggestions and re-passed he vetoed it again. The bill to revise the tariff met a similar fate. Thereupon, on September 11, 1841, all the members of the Cabinet except Webster, who was then engaged in negotiations with Great Britain concerning the boundary between the United States and Canada, resigned, and a year later Webster followed. Shortly thereafter some of the leading Whigs issued a public address declaring that “all political connection with them and John Tyler was at an end from that day henceforth.” The chief events of Tyler's administration were the conclusion of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (q.v.) with Great Britain and the annexation of Texas. At the close of his term Tyler retired to his estate in Charles City County, Va., where he remained until 1861, when he was called out to preside over the Peace Convention at Washington. Failing in his efforts at compromise, he gave his adhesion to the Confederate cause, voted for secession in the Virginia convention, served in the Confederate Provisional Congress, and was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives, but died at Richmond, January 18, 1862. before he could take his seat. For his biography and that of his father, consult: The Letters and Times of the Tylers (Richmond, 1884-85), written by his son, Lyon G. Tyler. For a more detailed account of the events of his administration, see the section on History in the article United States.