John Tyler, Born 150 Years Ago, Is One of Least-Known Presidents But Had a Career That Is Unique i By ELMO SCOTT WATSON (Released by Western Newspaper Union.) JOHN TYLER, who was born just 150 years ago, is one of the least-known Presidents of the United States, yet few of our Chief Executives have had a more interesting or more unusual career. Here are some of the facts which make his unique: He was the first vice president presi-dent to become President upon the death of the Chief Executive. He was the first vice president presi-dent to be defeated for that office in one election and then stage a come-back and win in the next one. He was the first President to surround himself with a "Brain Trust" of college professors pro-fessors and experts (even though that name had not yet been coined for it) and in doing do-ing so he antedated Franklin D. Roosevelt by nearly a hundred years. He was the only President who was "purged" by members mem-bers of his party . . . and they were more successful in doing do-ing that than President Roosevelt was in his attempted attempt-ed "purge" of his party! He was the only President who ever renounced his allegiance alle-giance to the United States. After leaving the White House, he accepted the lowliest lowli-est office ever filled by an ex-President ex-President that of road overseer. over-seer. His wife was the first President's Presi-dent's wife to die in the White House. In fact, the dark thread of Death was woven all through the pattern of John Tyler's life. The death of a Virginia congressman, John Clopton, in 1816 resulted in Tyler's being chosen to fill the vacancy in the house of representatives repre-sentatives and thus brought him on the stage of national affairs. The death of John Taylor in 1824 resulted in the nomination of Tyler Ty-ler to fill the vacancy thus created creat-ed in the United States senate but his friend,' Littleton Tazewell, was elected to the post. The death of William Henry' Harrison made Tyler President of the United Unit-ed States in 1841 and a little more than a year after he moved into the White House, it was draped in black in mourning for his wife, Letitia Christian Tyler, who died September 10, 1842. And finally his own death prevented his holding the last office to which he was ever elected membership member-ship in the congress of the Confederate Con-federate States of America. Tyler was born at Greenway in Charles City county, Virginia, March 29, 1790, the son of John Tyler who had served as governor gover-nor of the Old Dominion from 1808 to 1811. Fourteen years later another John Tyler (the junior) was chief executive of Virginia but after serving one term ,was elected to the United States senate. When the doctrine of nullification was proposed by the South Carolinians, Tyler broke with his party and resigned from the senate. By 1335 there was a serious schism in the Democratic party. Not only had the "nullifiers," under un-der the leadership of John C. Calhoun, Cal-houn, broken away, but a much larger party, which was formed in the South under the name of State-Rights Whigs, were opposed to the policies of Jackson and the administration "regulars." Lost His First Race. In the campaign of 1836 these State-Rights Whigs nominated Hugh L. White of Tennessee for President and Tyler for vice president. pres-ident. The National Republicans nominated Gen. William Henry Harrison for President and Francis Fran-cis Granger for vice president. But the influence of "Old Hickory," Hick-ory," who had forced the nomination nomina-tion of Martin Van Buren by the Democrats, was potent enough to bring about his election and with it the election of Richard M. Johnson for vice president. So John Tyler lost out in his first race for vice president. But it was a different story four years later. As the campaign of 1840 approached, Henry Clay prepared pre-pared to make his third bid for the Presidency. Leaders in the Whig party, though certain that Van Buren, would go down to defeat de-feat in his race for re-election, did not believe that Henry Clay was the man who could carry the Whig banner to victory. Taking a tip from the Democrats' Demo-crats' success in electing a military mili-tary hero "Old Hickory" Jackson, Jack-son, they decided upon William Henry Harrison, a noted Indian fighter and general in the War of ' t I 's t - - ; . " ' -.: - .m...j . v- '. -j-:-. :;:' JOHN TYLER Tenth President of the United States. 1812. As a running mate for "Old Tippecanoe" they selected the ex-Democrat, ex-Democrat, John Tyler. They believed be-lieved that this cultured Southern gentleman would attract Southern South-ern votes and his friendship for Henry Clay would hold the support sup-port of the Clay faction in the party. In the tumultuous campaign cam-paign which followed, Harrison and Tyler won an easy victory but within a month after taking the oath of office as President, the aged Indian-fighter, worn out by the demands of Whig office-seekers, office-seekers, died on April 4, 1841. Upon succeeding to the presidency, presi-dency, Tyler announced that he would retain the cabinet chosen by Harrison and would carry out the latter's policies. What they were, no one knew for the Whig convention had not adopted any platform and in the campaign there was no discussion of issues between the two parties. As a matter of fact, the Whigs had nominated Harrison because they believed he could be "managed" and Henry Clay intended to do the managing. Early-Day 'Brain Trust.' Although retaining Harrison's cabinet, Tyler immediately assembled as-sembled about him a group of unofficial advisers (the first "Brain Trust") which included Prof. Nathaniel Beverly Tucker, ' professor of law at William and Mary college, who first suggested suggest-ed an Exchequer Bank plan which Tyler later proposed and whose recommendations about a public lands policy were incorporated incorpo-rated in the Homestead Law of 1862; Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts, Massa-chusetts, one of the greatest authorities au-thorities on constitutional law, who was later nominated for chief justice of the Supreme court; Littleton W. Tazewell of Virginia, called by Thomas Jefferson Jef-ferson "one of the most brilliant minds I have ever known"; and Robert J. Walker of Mississippi, later President Polk's secretary of the treasury and author of the tariff of 1846, who became Tyler's spokesman in the senate. As soon as Henry Clay and the other Whig leaders began trying to dictate to Tyler, they discovered discov-ered that the man in the White House had a mind of his own. They first pushed through a bill to establish a United States bank. Tyler vetoed it, and their effort to pass it over his veto failed. When the Whig leaders reproached re-proached Tyler for his action, he reminded them that he had subscribed sub-scribed to no platform and that they should have known his opinions opin-ions before they nominated him. Somewhat crestfallen, they asked him for an outline of a bank bill he would sign. The result re-sult was Tucker's Exchequer Bank plan, which they changed and pushed through both houses. Thereupon Tyler vetoed it and again an attempt to pass it over his disapproval failed. Then congress con-gress passed a protective tariff bill which Tyler vetoed. A program pro-gram for internal improvements to be financed by the federal government gov-ernment met with the same fate, because Tyler believed that the states should make their own internal in-ternal improvements. Swiftly the breach between the President and his party widened. The cabinet, with one exception, resigned. Daniel Webster remained re-mained long enough to complete negotiations for the Webster-Ash-burton treaty. Then he resigned. The party was beginning its "purge" of its President. Next the Whig newspapers went into action and filled their columns with denunciations of the President. Presi-dent. There were even threats of assassination. But Tyler stood firm in his determination to be true to his oath of office. Then 10 members of congress, headed by ex-President John Quincy Adams, Ad-ams, now a member of the house of representatives, brought in a report charging Tyler with violating vio-lating a promise he had made before his nomination and threatening threat-ening to impeach him. Tyler replied re-plied that he had never pledged anything to the Whigs. Despite this denial, the Whig congressmen issued a series of "Addresses to the People" in which they charged that the President Pres-ident had gone into office fully committed to a program which he now repudiated, thus "selling out the party." They listed the reforms which they desired and which they declared, the President Presi-dent was "impeding." Finally, when Tyler filled his cabinet with Southern Democrats, headed by John C. Calhoun as secretary of state, it was the last straw. The Whigs issued a proclamation that "all political connection between them and John Tyler was at an end from that day henceforth." The party had completely purged its President. The remainder of Tyler's term of office was marked by the dispute dis-pute over the slavery question and the annexation of Texas, favored fa-vored by the Democrats and opposed op-posed by the Whigs. Having been "read out of the prty," Tyler now had nothing to lose and supported sup-ported the move for annexation, but without success at first. As the 1844 campaign approached, this question became the principal princi-pal issue. James K. Polk, the Democratic nominee, indorsed annexation. Tyler had tried to build up a party of his own and seek re-election. Although he was nominated by a small faction, he was persuaded to withdraw from the race and Polk won. Just before be-fore leaving office Tyler had the satisfaction of seeing his plan for the annexation of Texas accepted by the Lone Star republic and the next year it came into the Union. 'Robin Hood of Virginia.' Tyler's political career was now ended. He retired to his home, Sherwood Forest, where, in a facetious mood, he often referred re-ferred to himself as the "Robin Hood of Virginia." It was during this period of retirement that he accepted the lowly office of road overseer. Although a Virginian and a slaveholder, Tyler was opposed to the institution of slavery and became president of the African Colonization society, formed with the view of recolonizing the slaves in Africa. Early in his career he looked forward to the time when slavery would disappear disap-pear from the South as it already had from some of the Northern states but being a strict constructionist construc-tionist he wanted to bring that about by Constitutional means. As the clouds of the threatened civil war lowered, the ex-President used his influence to help avert it. His last great effort to preserve the Union was as president presi-dent of the Washington Peace Convention of 1860, assembled in a last-minute effort to seek some compromise between the North and the South. He looked upon the convention as an attempt to preserve the Constitution and the laws of the nation, which he considered con-sidered the North had sought to ignore, not change. When his native state seceded, Tyler, like Robert E. Lee, believed be-lieved that his first duty was to Virginia and he renounced his loyalty to the United States. He was elected to the Confederate congress but died January 17, 1862, before the congress assembled.