2022 US Trip – Day 7 (Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond – President John Tyler)

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As I mentioned earlier, there are two Presidents buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, John Tyler and James Monroe.

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The grave of John Tyler (1790-1862), who was President between 1841 and 1845, and there is something quite thrilling about seeing where a former leader of the United States is buried. Perhaps I just need to get out more, but there’s some considerable heritage here.

Tyler was the tenth President of the United States, slightly unexpected as his predecessor William Henry Harrison had only lasted for one month before dying and that’s still the shortest period in office for a US President. There’s an historians’ view of former Presidents at https://www.c-span.org/presidentsurvey2021/?category=6 which puts Tyler towards the bottom of the list, although not as far down as Trump so that’s one thing.

Tyler had fifteen children, a record for any US President which is unlikely now to be surpassed, and in terms of his political legitimacy, some of his political opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”. This was a tricky route to navigate as Presidents hadn’t previously died in office and some thought that Tyler should just temporarily manage the responsibilities of the President and not take over the entire role which is what he ended up doing. This whole situation wasn’t formally resolved until the 25th Amendment to the Constitution in 1967, but credit to Tyler for managing to stay in the post for the full four years.

The burial of Tyler took place in 1862 and Jefferson Davis started to get involved with that whole arrangement, ignoring Tyler’s wishes for a simple funeral. Tyler was buried under a Confederate flag, the only former US President not to have been covered with the flag of the United States.