Sue Young Histories

John Tyler 1790 - 1862

September 08, 2007

john tylerJohn Tyler Senior 1790 - 1862 was Governor of Virginia and a close friend of Thomas Jefferson. His son John Tyler went to the William and Mary College to study law, like his father.

John Tyler junior’s ambition soon saw him frequenting First Lady Dolley Madison’s parties, and when he became President, his Secretary of State Daniel Webster, who was a strong supporter of homeopathy, remained to support Tyler and to enable the Webster Asburton Treaty, calling for an end to the slave trade on the high seas to become law when Tyler’s entire cabinet resigned after Tyler was expelled from the Whig Party in 1841.

Tyler achieved the Separation of Church and State:

On July 10, 1843, President Tyler wrote a letter to Joseph Simpson which included:

"The United States has adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent, that of total separation of Church and State.

“No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all.

“No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith.

“The Mohammedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the Constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him.

“Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political institutions.

“The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid, and the Aegis of the government is over him to defend and protect him.

“Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.”

Tyler resorted to homeopathy for his dyspepsia in 1854, but unfortunately his wife Julia persuaded him to go to Baltimore for more orthodox treatment, which is a shame because he suffered very poor health thereafter.

Tyler’s Attorney General John J Crittenden was a great friend of Lincoln’s General George Brinton McClellan’s father (George Brinton McClellan used homeopathic medicine for a possible bout of malaria and typhoid in 1861).

Tyler was a controversial President, despite being the wrong man in the right place at the right time, he spanned two Worlds and left America stronger and ready for the new order. He was the only President not to be officially mourned in Washington, because of his allegiance to the Confederacy.


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