John Tyler

— 10th President of the United States —

View full portraits at:
National Portrait Gallery or the White House Presidential Portrait Gallery


April 5, 1841 to March 3, 1845

BORN: March 29, 1790
Greenway, Charles City County, Virginia
January 18, 1862, Richmond, Virginia
Letitia Christian, 1813, Julia Gardiner, 1844
Mary, Robert, John Jr., Letitia, Elizabeth, Anne, Alice, Tazewell, David, John Alexander, Julia, Lachlan, Lyon, Robert Fitzwalter, Pearl

Like several other of the first ten presidents, John Tyler was born in Virginia, the son ofa southern plantation owner. His father was John Tyler, who was a judge, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, and governor of Virginia. His father had become the guardian of 21 children. All these children enlivened daily life at the family home called Greenway Plantation. Tyler's mother died when he was only seven years old. He was raised by his father and an old housekeeper.

As a young man, John was very bright and headstrong. He was always a leader. In 1802, he entered The College of William and Mary. After he graduated in 1807, he began to study law with his father. Shortly afterward, he began his career in politics.

He went on to become a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, governor of the Old Dominion, and a United States senator. In the election of 1840, he became the vice president. A month after starting his term as vice president, he became president when President Harrison died. As president, Tyler fought many battles with Congress and the political parties, including his own. He brought the Seminole War in Florida to an end. He signed a treaty with Great Britain and settled the Canadian border with Maine and with the Minnesota Territory. He was president when the first message was sent over telegraph lines. While he was president, his wife died. This was the first time a president's wife had died while he was in office. He was also the first president to remarry while in office. President Tyler had 15 children, the most of any president.

In 1845, he retired to his estate in Virginia. He died there on January 18, 1862

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