John Tyler

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Popularity, I have always thought, may aptly be compared to a coquette - the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace.

John Tyler (March 29, 1790January 18, 1862) was the tenth (1841) vice president of the United States, and the tenth (1841–1845) president of the United States. He was the second president born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the first to assume the office of president following the death of his predecessor.


  • Popularity, I have always thought, may aptly be compared to a coquette—the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace.
    • Message to the House (18 December 1816).
  • Let it, then, be henceforth proclaimed to the world, that man's conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God.
    • Funeral oration for Thomas Jefferson (11 July 1826).
  • Patronage is the sword and cannon by which war may be made on the liberty of the human race.
    • Speech in Congress (24 February 1834) against the policies of Andrew Jackson.
  • I can never consent to being dictated to as to what I shall or shall not do. I, as President, shall be responsible for my administration. I hope to have your hearty co-operation in carrying out its measures. So long as you see fit to do this, I shall be glad to have you with me. When you think otherwise, your resignations will be accepted.
    • Cabinet meeting (1841), as retold by John Alexander Tyler.
  • So far as it depends on the course of this government, our relations of good will and friendship will be sedulously cultivated with all nations.
    • First annual message to Congress (1 June 1841).
  • Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality.
    • First annual message to Congress (1 June 1841).
  • In 1840 I was called from my farm to undertake the administration of public affairs and I foresaw that I was called to a bed of thorns. I now leave that bed which has afforded me little rest, and eagerly seek repose in the quiet enjoyments of rural life.
    • Farewell remarks (1845).
  • If the tide of defamation and abuse shall turn, and my administration come to be praised, future Vice-Presidents who may succeed to the Presidency may feel some slight encouragement to pursue an independent course.
    • Letter to Robert Tyler (12 March 1848).

Quotes about Tyler[edit]

  • Tyler had all the dignified charm and grace of the soft, warm manner typical of the well-bred Southerner of the early nineteenth century. He mixed readily with strangers of his class. Around working people, however, he became a different person- ill at ease, aloof, unresponsive. Some took this for vanity. But, as biographer Robert Seager pointed out, "What appeared to be vanity was an ingrained shyness and discomfort in the presence of people with dirty fingernails... He never had any experience with these people, and he was too diffident to gain any."
    • William A. DeGregorio, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents (1984), p. 149

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