Tuesday, May 21, 2013

John Tyler

Once out of office American Presidents are pretty much forgotten about.  Students may be required learn the   presidents names and the order they served, but that sort of info is forgotten immediately.  As adults we can recite the names the first half dozen, skip to #16 (Lincoln) then jump to Franklin Roosevelt.  There is even one, John Tyler of Virginia, our 10th, whose death was never formally acknowledged by the US government.

Born in 1790, Tyler was elected in 1840 as Wm. Henry Harrison's vice president.  Tyler became president when Harrison died one month after his inauguration, serving 1 term. A fervent Virginian, Tyler was elected to the Confederate Congress at the start of the Civil War, but died before taking his seat in the new congress. Then at war with the Confederacy, the US pointedly ignored his service to the US at the time of his death.

In the early 21st century president Tyler is known for 2 things.  His administration worked hard to have Texas admitted as a US state, and his 15 children by 2 wives (8 and 7).  The 5th child of wife 2, Lyon Gardiner Tyler (1853-1935), served 30 years as president of William and Mary College.

 Harrison Ruffin Tyler

Two of his sons, Harrison Ruffin Tyler and Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr are still alive. Harrison lives at President Tyler's Virginia plantation, Sherwood Forest.  In 2001 his family donated $5 million to William and Mary's Lyon Gardiner Tyler Department of History.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr.

Lyon and Harrison Tyler, now each in their 80's are grandsons of a man born in 1790.  A remarkable feat.


1 comment:

Patsy said...

Amazing! I'm the granddaughter of grandparents born in the 1890s.