Saturday, September 01, 2007

September 1, 1883:

Alex Tyler Dies

John Tyler, 10th President of the United States (1841-45), was also the most fecund of presidents, siring a total of 15 legitimate children, and allegedly two more by slave women, though this cannot be confirmed. Tyler's possible dalliance hasn't attracted nearly as much attention as Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (or, for that matter, the possible love child of Grover Cleveland and the confirmed illegitimate daughter of Warren Harding).

Tyler (pictured), besides producing a lot of children, also had the good fortune unusual in the 19th century of having all but one of the 15 survive to adulthood, though he did not live to see all of them grow up. His last child, Pearl, was less than 2 years old when he died, and she lived until 1947.

Today is the day that John Alexander "Alex" Tyler died in 1883. He was the second child born to John's second wife, Julia, and though he survived to manhood, did not live to see old age: he was only 35. His father left office about three years before he was born, returning to his plantation in Virginia, "Sherwood Forest."

Regarding Alex Tyler, the web site has this to say: "He was born April 7, 1848 and died at age 35 on September 1, 1883. He ran away from home at fourteen to enlist in the Confederate Army. He was rejected as too young, then later joined the Confederate Navy. Alex enlisted in the German Army at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He worked as an engineer and a surveyor in the American West. He married a cousin but was often separated from her. His death has spawned several mysterious theories, but most historians accept an account that he died of dysentery after drinking contaminated water in New Mexico in 1883. He had one child."

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