DEAD: ON THIS DATE
John Tyler (aged 71)
-10th President of the United States
John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862)was the tenth president of the United States from 1841 to 1845 after briefly being the tenth vice president (1841); he was elected to the latter officeon the 1840 Whig ticket with President William Henry Harrison. Tyler ascended to the presidency after Harrison’s death in April 1841, only a month after the start of the new administration. He was a supporter of states’ rights, and as president he adopted nationalist policies only when they did not infringe on the powers of the states. His unexpected rise to the presidency, with the resulting threat to the presidential ambitions of Henry Clay and other politicians, left him estranged from both major political parties.
DEATH: Throughout Tyler’s life, he suffered from poor health. As he aged, he suffered more frequently from colds during the winter. On January 12, 1862, after complaining of chills and dizziness, he vomited and collapsed. Despite treatment, his health failed to improve, and he made plans to return to Sherwood Forest by the 18th. As he lay in bed the night before, he began suffocating, and Julia summoned his doctor. Just after midnight, Tyler took a sip of brandy, and told his doctor, “I am going. Perhaps it is best.” He died shortly thereafter, most likely due to a stroke.
Tyler’s death was the only one in presidential history not to be officially recognized in Washington, because of his allegiance to the Confederate States of America. He had requested a simple burial, but Confederate President Jefferson Davis devised a grand, politically pointed funeral, painting Tyler as a hero to the new nation. Accordingly, at his funeral, the coffin of the tenth president of the United States was draped with a Confederate flag; he remains the only U.S. president ever laid to rest under a flag not of the United States.
Tyler was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, near the gravesite of former President James Monroe. Tyler has since been the namesake of several U.S. locations, including the city of Tyler, Texas, named for him because of his role in the annexation of Texas.