John Tyler is one of those presidents who is often overlooked. An advocate of states’ rights, he was placed on the 1840 Whig ticket to bring in southern votes. Tyler became president only because William Henry Harrison passed away after just a month in office. From there, things went downhill for the Virginian. The Whig party, which had expected to control Tyler, abandoned him once it was clear that he wasn’t going to cave to their agenda. Tyler finished out Harrison’s term, with his only notable achievement being the signing of a joint congressional resolution agreeing to annex Texas. He was elected to the Confederate Congress but died before taking office.
One of Tyler sons was Lyon G. Tyler. Tyler was a former president of the College of William & Mary, as well as a prolific writer and editor. Two of his sons (President Tyler’s grandsons) were still living as of early 2010. One, Harrison Tyler, is a retired chemical engineer who owns Sherwood Forest, his grandparents’ plantation. The other, Lyon G. Tyler, Jr., who lives in the Nashville area, was a professor of history at the Citadel and still speaks to the public about his family’s history.
Pretty cool, eh?