U.S. Presidents / John Tyler

John Tyler

1790 - 1862

John Tyler

Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality... First Annual Address


John Tyler signaled the last gasp of the Old Virginia aristocracy in the White House. Born a few years after the American Revolution in 1790 to an old family from Virginia's ruling class, Tyler graduated from the College of William and Mary at the age of seventeen, studied law, and went to work for a prestigious law firm in Richmond. At twenty-one, Tyler had used his father's contacts to gain a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates where he began immediately fighting the Bank of the United States, which he opposed as a broadening of nationalist power. After serving an uneventful stint in the military during the War of 1812, Tyler won election to the House of Representatives and quickly became a Washington insider, seen frequently at Dolly Madison's posh parties.

Fast Facts

Charles City County, Virginia
College of William and Mary (graduated 1807)
Democrat, Whig
“Accidental President;” “His Accidency”
March 29, 1813, to Letitia Christian (1790–1842); June 26, 1844, to Julia Gardiner (1820–1889)
Mary (1815–1848), Robert (1816–1877), John (1819–1896), Letitia (1821–1907), Elizabeth (1823–1850), Anne Contesse (1825), Alice (1827–1854), Tazewell (1830–1874), David Gardiner (1846–1927), John Alexander (1848–1883), Julia Gardiner (1849–1871), Lachlan (1851–1902), Lyon Gardiner (1853–1935), Robert Fitzwalter (1856–1927), Pearl (1860–1947)
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
William Freehling

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “John Tyler.” Accessed July 11, 2024. https://millercenter.org/president/tyler.

Emeritus Professor of the Humanities

William Freehling

Professor Freehling is the emeritus Singletary Professor of the Humanities at the University of Kentucky.