John Tyler with Ham

John Tyler with Ham

10th PRESIDENT

NAME: John Tyler. He was named after his father.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Tall (just over 6 feet) and thin. Tyler had blue eyes, fine wavy brown hair, rather large ears, thin lips, and a prominent forehead. His drawn cheeks sloped severely from high cheekbones to a rather weak chin, giving him a somewhat triangular expression. But the dominant feature was his large Roman nose; its long, sharp ridge bore a distinctive bump. His health generally was poor. He caught cold easily and suffered frequently from indigestion and diarrhea.

PERSONALITY: Tyler had all the dignified charm and grace and soft, warm manner typical of the well-bred southerner of the early nineteenth century. He mixed readily with strangers of his class. Around working people, however, he became a different person – ill at ease, aloof, unresponsive. Some took this for vanity. But, as biographer Robert Seager pointed out, “What appeared to be vanity was an ingrained shyness and discomfort in the presence of people with dirty fingernails…He had never had any experience with these people, and he was too diffident to gain any.”

SOURCE: DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. 7th ed. Fort Lee: Barricade Books, 2009.

John Tyler with Ham

William Henry Harrison James Polk