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Taking office following the death of William Henry Harrison only 32 days into his predecessor’s term, John Tyler became the 10th President of the United States in 1841. Immediately following Harrison’s death, there was a major constitutional crisis. The founding document did not specifically outline what was supposed to happen in the event of a president’s death. Tyler chose to immediately move into the White House, took the oath of office and established the presidency of the vice president being the next in line for the presidency.

Prior to his term as vice president, Tyler was a long time politician, serving as state legislator, governor, federal representative and senator. He was from an aristocratic Virginian family that supported the constructionist view of the Whig Party.

Unfortunately, neither his own party or the Democratic-Republicans supported his stances and his presidency was basically an entire lame duck session. Ultimately, he could not garner support for a reelection bid in 1844 and he moved back to the South, eventually supporting the Confederacy becoming a Virginian representative to the secessionist legislature.

He is believed to have died from a stroke on January 18, 1862. Due to his affiliation with the Confederacy, he is the only president not to have been given a state funeral in Washington. Instead, he was buried in Virginia with all of the accolades the Confederacy could muster, portraying him as a hero of the Southern cause.

White House: John Tyler

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