On April 5th, 1841 Vice President John Tyler sat up in his bed to be awakened by a knocking at the door. It was five in the morning. Tyler got up to see who it was. Here were two men standing at the door, they had been traveling for twenty-four hours to bring Tyler a message. The message said that president William Harrison died. He was president for one month in office, now John Tyler had become the tenth president of the United States.
John Tyler was born on March 29th, 1790. His family owned a 1200-acre plantation on the banks of the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. The Nation declared Independence from Great Britain fourteen years earlier. That was when George Washington had served as first president. John Tyler was sixth in line of eight children born to Judge John Tyler and Mary Armistead Tyler. His father served as governor of Virginia for three terms as speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and as a state and federal judge.
Judge Tyler was a good friend and roommate of Thomas Jefferson while they were students at the College of William and Mary.
We don't know much about Tyler's' Childhood.
Young Tyler was only seven when his mother Mary died. Somehow judge Tyler seemed to have raised three sons and five daughters with love and guidance. One story says that Judge Tyler would sometimes gather his children and the children of his slaves and have them sit under a willow tree. Then he would entertain them by playing the violin and telling stories. Judge Tyler was the guardian of twenty-one other children. Many of the children may have lived at Greenway.
The main house or plantation had many buildings. They included a dairy house, an ice- house,