Vice President John Tyler Becomes President

1841

On the morning of April 5, 1841, Vice President John Tyler is informed that President William Henry Harrison had died of pneumonia the previous day. Some members of Harrison’s cabinet view Tyler as “Vice President, acting as President,” but Tyler is determined to be President in his own right. He rejects calls for a Presidential election, and serves for the remainder of Harrison’s term. Although Tyler asserts the full powers of the Presidency, there are many who continue to call him “His Accidency.”