Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Tyler, John
TYLER, JOHN, an American statesman, 10th President of the United States; born in Charles City co., Va., March 29, 1790. His father was an officer in the army during the Revolution, and a judge of the Federal Court of Admiralty. Tyler was graduated at William and Mary College, in 1807, when but 17, and was admitted to the bar in 1809. At the age of 21 he was elected to the Virginia legislature; and in 1816, at the age of 26, was elected to Congress. In 1825 he was elected governor of Virginia, and in 1827 Senator of the United States. He sustained the States' Rights policy in Congress, voted against the so-called Force Bill empowering President Jackson to enforce the revenue laws in South Carolina, and for the resolutions censuring Jackson for removing the government funds to State banks. When in 1836, the Virginia legislature instructed to vote for the expunging of this censure, he resigned his seat in the Senate. In 1839 he was elected to the Virginia legislature, and in 1840 was elected Vice-President on the Whig ticket with William H. Harrison. On April 4, just one month after entering on the duties of his office, President Harrison died, and Tyler became President by succession. He at once came into conflict with Congress by vetoing financial bills that he believed to be in violation of the Constitution. His cabinet, except Daniel Webster, resigned, and their places were filled by States' Rights Whigs. The most important acts of his administration were a treaty with China and the annexation of Texas (1845). At the expiration of his term he retired to private life, till 1861, when he was made president of a peace convention. Failing in his efforts to effect a compromise, he joined the Confederacy, and served in the Confederate Congress till his death in Richmond, Va., Jan. 18, 1862.