For a reminder of how young America really is, consider that America’s 10th President, John Tyler, has two living grandchildren. Tyler was President from 1841 to 1845 and was born on March 29, 1790 in Virginia. He was born the year after George Washington became President and went on to father more children than any other U.S. President at 15. His grandson, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr., was born in 1924, making him 94 today. His brother Harrison Ruffin Tyler is also with us today at 90 and appears in the video below talking about Sherwood Forest, Tyler’s Virginia plantation.
— LeRoy is a HOFer (@Nicholson_Dave) January 11, 2018
You can see both brothers in the videos below.
1790 President John Tyler is born
1853 his son Lyon Gardiner Tyler is born
1924 Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr. is born
1928 Harrison Ruffin Tyler is born
Author Matt Smethurst revived the story when he Tweeted about it on Tuesday, pointing out a conversation that could actually take place if you were Lyon Tyler today.
Another way to think about this: There are people who could look at you today, in 2018, and say: “Yeah, my dad was 8 years old when the war started.”
“World War 2?”
“Oh wow, World War 1?”
“The Civil War.”
— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) January 10, 2018
Political correspondent, Robert Maguire chimed in on the thread, noting that he used to mow Lyon Tyler’s lawn. What a small and connected world it is?
I used to mow Lyon Tyler's lawn, back in the 90s when he lived in Charleston. I've told this factoid about him to people for 20 years, and no one ever finds it as amazing as I do https://t.co/WxM4nxee7e
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) January 10, 2018
Though not one of the more memorable Presidents, he is known for the 1840 presidential campaign slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” since he was running as VP with presidential candidate William Henry Harrison, a Whig who fought Native Americans at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. Harrison was governor of the Indiana Territory.
Snopes reported that Harrison died of pneumonia only a month into his term, making Tyler the first Vice President to take over as President. This was the first time it had happened, and Tyler faced critics who saw him as “His Accidency” rather than an authentic President. He was so unpopular that he became the first to face impeachment proceedings, though his grandson says he was known as “Honest John” for his affinity for telling the truth.
Tyler was the only President not to be officially mourned in Washington. He died, during the Civil War as a member of the Confederate Congress.
The “His Accidency” part certainly seems familiar today, with Donald Trump in office, winning by the grace of the antiquated Electoral College and likely to face his own impeachment, although it won’t have anything to do with telling the truth. But I digress…
Tyler’s story is a mind-blowing reminder that America is still just starting out, and democracy is still a dream that has barely had time to grow.
See Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr. appear in the video below:
More on President Tyler and Harrison Ruffin Tyler in the video below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube