Political and Civil War Documents from Bruce N. Johnson
When Harrison died, John Tyler inherited the 3 years and 11 months remaining in his term. Tyler, a former Democrat, had been selected by the Whigs to draw more votes, not because he was a notably dedicated member of the party. As a result, when he succeeded to the office, no one really knew what to expect. Item 136 is a June 28, 1841, letter from Saratoga, New York, Democratic Congressman Richard David Davis. Davis is as perplexed as everyone else. He notes that opinions about Tyler "are as various as you can imagine," and adds "I confess his cause perplexes me," and "I sometimes think he is himself as much at a loss to tell what John Tyler will do." Ultimately, Tyler did not do much that anyone liked. The Whigs disowned him and eventually attempted have him impeached, but he never made friends with the Democrats either. He was unwanted by both parties and nominated by neither when the next election came around. $95.
Item 110 is a campaign pennant for the Roosevelt-Johnson ticket. Roosevelt-Johnson? You need to think about that a moment. Which Roosevelt, and what election did he run with someone named Johnson? The answer is Theodore Roosevelt, and the election was 1912, when Roosevelt bolted the Republican Party to run as a Progressive. Johnson was California Governor Hiram Johnson, a populist and progressive Republican, who like his running mate was displeased with the conservative policies of President Taft. After Roosevelt lost the 1912 election to Woodrow Wilson, Johnson returned to California as Governor, and was elected the state's senator in 1916, serving for almost three decades until his death in 1945. $395.
Bruce N. Johnson Historic Documents may be reached at 315-652-3118.