Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009

John Tyler

10th President, 1841-45

After John Tyler earned the vice presidency on the strength of a campaign slogan that tacked him on as an postscript — "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" — his fate as a historical footnote seemed likely. And when he ascended to the presidency following the death of William Henry Harrison, being dubbed "His Accidency" made it a lock.

Tyler was so deeply unpopular during his presidency that all but one of his Cabinet members resigned in protest when he vetoed a bill establishing a national bank. Shortly after, he was expelled from his own party, and the House of Representatives tried to issue impeachment charges against him. Tyler, unable to recapture his party's presidential nomination in 1845, left to support the nascent Confederate movement. He died in the Confederate House of Representatives, fighting another losing battle to the last.

By Dan Fletcher