Born in Charles City County, Virginia, JOHN TYLER JR. received a bachelor of arts degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg and then studied and practiced law before being elected to five consecutive terms in the Virginia House of Delegates. He served as a Captain in the Virginia Militia in 1813 and as a member of the Virginia Council of State in 1816 before being elected to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was reelected a U.S. Representative twice and then elected once again to the Virginia House of Delegates for three consecutive terms. He was chosen by the state legislature to serve as governor. During his gubernatorial administration, he recommended the establishment of a statewide public school system. He resigned after being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1827 to 1835, serving as President Pro Tempore his final year in office. He was a nominee for Vice President of the United States on the Whig ticket in 1838. Although unsuccessful, he was elected Vice President in 1840 and became President of the United States in April 1841 upon the death of William Henry Harrison. At the end of his presidential term, Tyler retired to his estate until the outbreak of the Civil War, during which he served as a delegate to, and chairman of, the Peace Conference held in Washington, D.C. in February 1861, a member of the Virginia Convention called to consider secession in March 1861, and a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy in 1861. He was elected a member of the Confederate House of Representatives but died before they met.
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