Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Key Events in the Presidency of John Tyler


April 4, 1841

After the death of President William Henry Harrison, Vice President John Tyler assumes the presidency. He is the first ever to do so, setting the precedent for presidential succession.

September 11, 1841

Tyler's entire cabinet, with the exception of Secretary of State Daniel Webster, resigns after Tyler vetoes a second bill for the establishment of a National Bank of the United States.


March 1842

The Massachusetts Supreme Court establishes the legality of labor unions, including the right for workers to strike, in the case of Commonwealth v. Hunt.

August 9, 1842

The signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty normalizes U.S.-British relations by adjusting the Maine-Brunswick border, settling boundary issues around western Lake Superior, and resurveying numerous smaller borders.


In the congressional elections, the Democrats gain a majority over the Whigs in the House of Representatives, while at the same time defending their majority in the Senate.


April 12, 1844

The Texas Annexation Treaty is signed by the United States and the Republic of Texas.

May 24, 1844

The first telegraph line in the United States is completed between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

June 8, 1844

The Texas Annexation Treaty fails to gain the required two-thirds majority in the Senate amid controversy over the western expansion of the nation.

June 26, 1844

President John Tyler marries Miss Julia Gardiner, becoming the first President to wed while in office.

December 4, 1844

James K. Polk is elected as the eleventh President of the United States on promises to "re-annex" Texas and "re-occupy" Oregon.


February 28, 1845

Congress passes the joint resolution (which only requires a simple majority by both houses) submitted by Tyler to annex Texas. The Republic of Texas votes to accept annexation on June 23.

March 3, 1845

Florida is admitted as a slave state, making it the twenty-seventh state in the Union.

March 4, 1845

James K. Polk is inaugurated as the eleventh President of the United States.