Monday, January 18, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1832


Richmond, Virginia (JFK+50) The tenth President of the United States, John Tyler*, died 154 years ago today, January 18, 1862 here in Richmond.  The former president had been the first to assume the office on the death of a chief executive.

Although condemned by some as "His Accidency," according to the Miller Center, "by claiming the right to a fully functioning and empowered presidency instead of relinquishing the office or accepting limits to his power, Tyler set a hugely important precedent."

William Henry Harrison passed away only one month after being sworn in. Ironically, on the day of Harrison's inauguration, Vice-President Tyler spent a couple of hours at the Capitol and then returned to his home at Williamsburg.  

It has been said that "had William Henry Harrison lived, John Tyler would...have been as obscure as any vice-president in American history."

President Tyler served the remainder of his predecessor's term (1841-1845). Although he chaired a Virginia Peace Commission held in Washington, D.C. in February 1861, when his state seceded he joined the Confederacy.  A former POTUS then was elected as a delegate to the Confederate Congress.

The former president died of a stroke before he could attend any of the legislative sessions.  Tyler's coffin was draped in a Confederate flag, making him the only former POTUS to be buried under a non-U.S. flag.


My good friend R. Scott Sirk appropriately points out that John Tyler is also...

"the only former POTUS whose death was not recognized by the U.S. government due to the fact that he was in rebellion at the time of his death." 

Scott's source is @RBrookhiser in Founders Son. 

*John Tyler (1790-1862) was born in Charles City County, Virginia.  He attended William & Mary and was admitted to the bar in 1819.  JT served in the Virginia House of Delegates, the U.S. House of Representatives & the U.S. Senate.  He also served as Governor of Virginia.

After leaving the presidency, JT retired to his plantation on the James River named "Sherwood Forest."  He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.


"John Tyler:  Impact and Legacy,"  The Miller Center,

John Tyler's Grave
Hollywood Cemetery
Richmond, Virginia
Photo by Remember