« ZurückWeiter »
Elected governor of Virginia. - Elected United States senator.- Resigns his seat in the senate. ported the administration during the war with Great Britain,* and in 1816 he was elected to Congress. He served nearly two terms, but toward the close of the latter, in 1821, ill health compelled him to resign his station, and he retired to his farmt in Charles City county, car. rying with him the profound respect of all parties.
Mr. Tyler did not long remain in private life. In 1823, he was again elected a member of the Virginia legislature, where he took the lead in all matters of public utility; and many of the finest works in that state are the result of his untiring labors.
In 1825, Mr. Tyler was elected governor of Virginia by a very large majority. He was re-elected the following year, but resigned, in consequence of being elected to succeed John Randolph in the United States senate. He took his seat in that body in December, 1827. He voted against the tariff-bill of 1828, and was a firm supporter of General Jackson on his accession to the presidency, but ever pursuing an independent and consistent course. He sometimes differed with the president, and always honestly and frankly avowed his opinions. During the session of 1831-2, he opposed the rechartering of the United States bank, and voted against it, as an unconstitutional measure.l. He also voted against the tariff-bill of 1832; but in the course of a speech in the senate, he inculcated doctrines of concession, upon which Mr. Clay, in 1833, predicated his famous compromise-act, for which Mr. Tyler voted.
In 1833, he was re-elected to the senate for six years. Siding with the nullifiers, he withdrew his support from Président Jackson; and he also opposed the removal of the government deposites from the United States bank. His course in the senate separated him from the president's friends in Virginia, who subsequently supported Mr. Van Buren.
In 1836, the legislature of Virginia instructed the senators from that state to vote for expunging from the journals of the senate the resolution of Mr. Clay, censuring the president. As Mr. Tyler approved of the resolution, he could not obey instructions, and, true to his avowed principles, he resigned his seat, and was succeeded by Mr. Rives.
In the spring of 1838, the whigs of James City county elected Mr. Tyler a member of the Virginia legislature. In 1839, he was elected a member of the whig convention that met at Harrisburg to nominate a candidate for president of the United States. He was chosen vice
• He raised a volunteer corps when Richmond was threatened, but they were never brought into the field. In allusion to this, his opponents, while he was president, called him“ Captain Tyler," in derision.
In 1813, he married Miss Lucretia Christian, daughter of Robert Christian, of New-Kent county, Virginia. She died at Washington, September 10, 1842.
In July, 1825, he delivered in the capitol square, at Richmond, an eloquent eulogy on the death of Thomas Jefferson.
| For the same reason he voted against its recharter in 1818.
Elected vice-president of the United States. - Becomes president. - His vetoes. — Annexation of Texas. president of the convention, and warmly supported Mr. Clay for the nomination. General Harrison was nominated for president, and Mr. Tyler for vice-president, and in 1840 they were both elected.
As we have already stated, General Harrison's administration was only of a month's duration ; and when the veteran expired, a a April 4, Mr. Tyler, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, became president of the United States. He retained Harrison's cabinet in office, and, by his many removals from place of the supporters of Van Buren's administration, the whigs believed that he intended to carry out all their measures. His first message, too, recommending a bank or fiscal agent of some kind, gave them hopes; but when a bill (containing, as the framers supposed, a compromise sufficient to overcome the president's constitutional objections to a bank) passed boch houses, and was presented to him for his signature, he sent it
6 August 6, back with his objections—in other words, vetoed it. Having, in his veto-message, shadowed forth a fiscal agent, a bill in accordance therewith was framed and adopted: but this, too, he vetoed,
c Sept. 9, and there not being a constitutional majority in its favor, it was lost. The sub-treasury law in the meanwhile had been repealed; great excitement prevailed, and all of Mr. Tyler's cabinet, except Mr. Webster, resigned. The president immediately filled his cabinet with prominent whigs and conservatives.*
The most important acts of the long session of 1841–2 (two hundred and sixty-nine days) were, a new tariff-law for revenue and protection, and an apportionment of representatives according to the census of 1840. An important treaty with Great Britain, settling the northeastern boundary of the Union, was ratified at Washington on the 28th of August, 1842. In May, 1843, the president appointed Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts, a commissioner to the Chinese government. On the 12th of April, 1844, a treaty was concluded at Washington, providing for the annexation of Texas to the United States, but on the 8th of June it was rejected by the senate. On the 25th of January, a joint resolution for annexing Texas was adopted by the house of representatives, by a vote of 120 to 98; and the same was adopted in the senate on the 1st of March, by a vote of 27 to 25, and the same day it was approved by the president. Thus, two days before the expiration of his term of office, Mr. Tyler had the satisfaction of sanctioning by his signature an act, the consummation of which he had earnestly desired. On the 4th
• He appointed Walter Forward, of Pennsylvania, secretary of the treasury ; John M‘Lean, of Ohio, secretary of war; Abel P. Upshur, of Virginia, secretary of the navy; Charles A. Wickliffe, of Kentucky, postmaster.general; and Hugh 8. Legaré, of South Carolina, attorneygeneral. Judge M.Lean declining the appointment, John C. Spencer, of New York, was appointed.
+ The ratio was fixed at seventy thousand six hundred and eighty for each representative.
His retirement. — His administration.- His person and character. of July following, a constitutional convention that had assembled at Austin, in Texas, assented to the terms proposed by the government of the United States, and that state became a part of our great confederacy. The next winter, Generals Houston and Rusk (the former had been president of Texas) took their seats in the United States senate as her representatives.
Mr. Tyler was not a candidate for president,* and on the 4th of March, 1845, he resigned the office into the hands of James K. Polk, who had been elected to succeed him. He soon after left Washington, and retired to his estate near Williamsburg, in Virginia, where he still resides.t
Of the character of Mr. Tyler's administration, and his personal relations thereto, it is yet too early to speak. His independent course in vetoing the bank-bills, and other measures, greatly exasperated the party who had elevated him to office, and he was denounced as a traitor; while his equally independent course in opposing General Jackson in his measures against the United States bank, and also his alliance with the whigs during Mr. Van Buren's administration, denied him the confidence of the democrats. He himself said : “ I appeal from the vituperation of the present day to the pen of impartial history, in the full confidence that neither my motives nor my acts will bear the interpretation which has, for sinister purposes, been placed upon them.” As an executive of the people's will, he exhibited all the necessary vigor of a chief magistrate.“ Nor is it to be denied," says one of his political opponents, " that the foreign relations of the United States were ably managed during his presidential term, and that he generally surrounded himself with able counsellors in his cabinet.”
In person, Mr. Tyler is rather tall and thin, with light complexion, bľue eyes, and prominent features. He is plain and affable in his manners; in private life is amiable, hospitable, and courteous; and is much beloved for his many virtues by all who know him.
* When, in May, the democratic convention assembled at Baltimore to nominate candidates for president and vice-president, delegates from various parts of the Union, favorable to Mr. Tyler, met in that city and placed his name in nomination. At the urgent solicitation of the friends of the democratic nominees, Mr. Tyler, in August, withdrew his name from the can.
+ On the 26th of June, 1844, Mr. Tyler was married in the city of New York, to Miss Julia Gardiner, the daughter of the late David Gardiner, who was killed by the explosion on board the steamship Princeton.