Wouldn’t it be interesting to talk today to the grandson of Abraham Lincoln? Obviously not possible. Abe was our 16th President from 1860 to 1865 and couldn’t possibly have grandchildren alive. But, what about our 10th President? John Tyler served twenty years before Abe, from 1841 to 1845. We can talk to his grandkids. He has TWO still alive. One was in poor health in Tennessee a few months back and I haven’t seen any news about him. However, his younger brother is alive and in great health and eighty five years old. Harrison Tyler lives in the original Tyler home in Virginia. It doesn’t seem possible does it? Here is a shrunken family tree to explain this real phenomenon.
President Tyler had eight children with his first wife. She died and he re-married and had seven children with her. He was 63 years old when Harrison Tyler’s father was born. Then this last Tyler son did the same. He had a bunch of children with wife number one and another bunch with wife number two and Harrison Tyler was born when his father was 75.
Last week I wrote a little about the President, General William Henry Harrison, that Tyler served under as Vice-President. http://wp.me/p26z7T-EL
Harrison died just a month after taking office. His Vice-President, John Tyler was prepared. He immediately moved into the White House, took the oath of office and assumed the duties. That’s when the proverbial poop hit the fan. This had never happened and there was nothing in the Constitution that actually said the VP was to become the PREZ. Vaguely worded the Constitution stated: “In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President.” It doesn’t really say the VP becomes the President, it says the powers of the office devolve to the VP. From that moment on there was a faction in all the government branches that called John Tyler, “His Accidency.” (kind of like the birthers, today) Correspondence would come to President Tyler addressed to Vice President or Acting President.
Tyler would return the mail unopened. This entire hullabaloo brought about our 25th Amendment which clarifies the language of Presidential succession.
Enough already, there are at least three or four of you reading this that needs to stop reading and get on with your shopping. Tomorrow is not the time to try and find that perfect gift…right now. Get on with it. Merry Christmas, too.