CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THIS STORYOne of Virginia’s native sons and the nation’s 10th commander-in-chief was honored at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery March 29.
President John Tyler was remembered with a wreath-laying ceremony hosted by Brig. Gen. Jon J. Miller, deputy commanding general for mobilization and training, Combined Arms Support Command. On behalf of President George W. Bush, Miller paid tribute to the 217th anniversary of Tyler’s birth.
“Today we take for granted the constitutional provisions allowing the vice president to assume the powers and duties of the presidency upon the death or resignation of the president,” Miller said. “It has happened eight times in our country’s history. But it was Tyler who was the first vice president to do so, taking the Oath of Office on April 6, 1841.”
Miller said that Tyler ascended the office of the presidency and refused to be forced out of office by irresponsible, self-serving political factors.
“In spite of strong opposition, he advocated the annexation of Texas, which had won its independence from Mexico and had applied for statehood. Whig party members overwhelmingly opposed annexation. But the president, obviously a man of strong convictions, outmaneuvered the opposition,” Miller said.
Tyler was born March 29, 1790, at Greenway estate in Charles City County. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1807, where he began studying law. His public service began a few years after he finished law school. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1816-21 and as Virginia’s governor from 1825-27. Tyler was elected to the Senate in 1827 and resigned his seat in 1836.
In 1839, Tyler was nominated as the vice-presidential candidate on the Whig ticket with William Henry Harrison, winning the race on the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.”
Harrison died after a month as president and Tyler took the oath of office. He was the first president to succeed to office after the death of an incumbent president. Tyler retired to his Virginia plantation in 1845 and died Jan. 18, 1862, in Richmond.
“An admirable characteristic of John Tyler, is how he led a public life with a calm and self-assured manner. He was, in the truest sense of the expression a ‘southern gentleman,’” Miller said. “We honor this Virginian, our 10th president. Let us draw continued inspiration from the example he set.”
Tyler was honored with a color guard from the Quartermaster Center and School, music performed by the 392nd Fort Lee Army Band and wreath placed by Miller and Sgt. Maj. James Furin, senior staff noncommissioned officer, U.S. Army Reserve.