John Tyler (1790-1862)

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John Tyler was the 10th president of the United States. John Tyler was born the son of John Tyler, Sr. (1747-1813) and Mary Armistead (1761-1797), in Charles City County, Virginia, as the second of eight children. He was the 10th President of the United States. Other offices held include Governor of Virginia, U.S. Senator, member of the House of Representatives, member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Captain of a military company, and other offices.

He was educated at the College of William and Mary and went on to study law with his father. John Tyler was married twice. His first wife was Letitia Christian Tyler with whom he had 8 children; she died in the White House in September 1842. His second wife was Julia Gardiner Tyler (July 23, 1820 - July 10, 1889), with whom he had 7 children.

Tyler attended the College of William and Mary in 1802-1807. His son Lyon Gardiner Tyler was President of the College of William and Mary. He served as chancellor of William and Mary from 1859 until 1862. The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him in 1854 by William and Mary. A painting of Tyler hangs on the south wall of the Great Hall in the Wren Building. The painting (oil on canvas) is a copy of an original by an unknown artist and was painted by John Adams Elder (American, 1833-1895). Elder was born in Frederickburg, studied under Daniel Huntington in New York City, and held exhibitions in Richmond. He also fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. This portrait was given to the College by Letitia Tyler Semple, daughter of President John Tyler.

Preceded by College of William and Mary Chancellor Succeeded by
George Washington


John Tyler


Hugh Blair Grigsby


Material in the Special Collections Research Center

Further Reading

  • John TylerThe Presidential biographies on are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Michael Beschloss and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2009 by the White House Historical Association. Accessed August 26, 2016
  • “John Tyler.” Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. Accessed August 26, 2016.

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