Inauguration of John Tyler

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Presidential inauguration of John Tyler
TYLER, John-President (BEP engraved portrait).jpg
Date April 6, 1841; 177 years ago (1841-04-06)
Location Brown's Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Participants President John Tyler
Assuming office
Chief Judge William Cranch
Administering oath

The inauguration of John Tyler as the tenth President of the United States was held on Tuesday, April 6, 1841 at the Brown’s Indian Queen Hotel in Washington, D.C., following the death of President William Henry Harrison two days earlier. The inauguration marked the commencement of John Tyler's only term (a partial term of 3 years, 334 days) as President. William Cranch, chief judge of the United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, administered the presidential oath of office to Tyler. This was the first time in American history that the death of a president had occasioned the swearing-in of a new president.


On March 26, 1841, President Harrison came down with a cold, then pneumonia and pleurisy set in. It was believed that his illness was directly caused by the bad weather at his inauguration on March 4; however, Harrison's illness did not arise until more than three weeks after the event.[1]

On April 1, Secretary of State Daniel Webster sent word of Harrison's illness to Tyler, who was at his home in Williamsburg, Virginia. Two days later, Richmond attorney James Lyons wrote with the news that the president had taken a turn for the worse, remarking that "I shall not be surprised to hear by tomorrow's mail that Gen'l Harrison is no more."[2] Tyler determined not to travel to Washington, not wanting to appear unseemly in anticipating the president's death. At dawn on April 5, Webster's son Fletcher, Chief Clerk of the State Department, arrived at Tyler's plantation with a letter from Webster, informing the new president of Harrison's death the morning before.[2]

An illustration:Tyler stands on his porch in Virginia, approached by a man with an envelope. Caption reads "Tyler receiving the news of Harrison's death."
1888 illustration of President Tyler receiving the news of President Harrison's death from Chief Clerk of the State Department Fletcher Webster

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cleaves, Freeman (1939). Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time. New York, NY: C. Scribner's Sons. 
  2. ^ a b Crapol, Edward P. (2006). John Tyler, the Accidental President. University of North Carolina Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8078-3041-3. 

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