THE CALL to the Presidency found John Tyler down on one knee, playing "knucks" with his boys, in the pathway of his door-yard in Williamsburg, that stately old village of colonial Virginia. He was the first Vice-President to succeed to the Presidency through death, and without steam, wire or rail to carry the news of the event until a day after it occurred. Even so, he had difficulty in going to Washington because of the lack of funds, finally contributed by friends. Repudiating allegiance to the party by which he had been elected, Tyler was exceedingly unpopular and old women blamed him even for their rheumatic twinges, which they called "Tyler's grip." It was during his administration (1841-1845) that Texas was annexed to the United States. With the breaking out of the Rebellion, he sided with the Confederacy, and was elected to the Confederate Congress, but died before it assembled.
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