This news item jolted me out of my reverie earlier in the week. I find it fascinating. Most Americans can name the early US Presidents up to maybe #5 or 6, beyond that there were a lot of one term, do nothings that history has forgotten about. President Tyler was one of those.
Born in 1790, son of a Virginia governor,later a Virginia state legislator, Virginia governor, US congressman, Senator, Vice President, President, not a bad resume. Tyler became president in 1841, upon the death of President William Henry Harrison, 3 years into the reign of Queen Victoria of England. Tyler offended almost everyone he ever dealt with politically and was never elected President. When he left the White House he returned to his Virginia plantation, Sherwood Forest. In 1861 he was elected to the Confederate Provisional Congress. Due to his Southern sympathies, his death in 1862 remains the only Presidential funeral not officially mourned.
Tyler did have one exceptional talent. He and his 2 wives (my bride would rewrite this to read: his 2 wives..)had more children than any other president; 8 by his first wife, 7 by his second. He was 63 when Lyon, the 5th child by his second wife was born, and 67 at the birth of his last child in 186o. My wife allows how I'm unlikely to be so fortunate.
Lyon Tyler was another late fathering prodigy. In 1924, at the age of 71 he begat his son Lyon, and 4 years later had another son, Harrison, who lives in Sherwood Forest, the family estate built by his great grandfather in the late 1700's . Both men, born the same years as my parents, are still alive. So what you say?
Take a look back at your family tree. Are any grandchildren still alive 152 years after their grandfathers death, or say their great-grandparents lived 200+ years ago? I can't.