Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Throwback Tuesday-The Amazing Secret of Sherwood Forest

Today, a day after President's Day in the United States (yesterday was also Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, so my President's Day feature is today) I am repeating a post from 2012. 

Yesterday, I read that President John Tyler's two grandsons are still alive.

This became a newsworthy story back in 2012, and it is even more amazing today.

This shouldn't be a big deal except John Tyler was born in 1790, and was  President from 1841 to 1845.

I invite you to read the Mental Post article linked to above (the comments are even more fascinating) and then read about....

The Amazing Secret of Sherwood Forest

No, the amazing secret of Sherwood Forest doesn't have anything to do with Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Although it would have been interesting to watch them fight in the Civil War, dressed in their bright green clothes and using their longbows and clubs to fight....well, I don't know if they would have sided with the Union or the Confederates.  But Friar Tuck would have been quite the sight.

No, I am talking about Sherwood Forest Plantation, in Virginia, which is suddenly (I suspect) going to become a whole lot more popular as a tourist destination than it has been - all because of an 83 [2016 update - now 86 ] year old gentleman who lives there.  His name is Harrison Tyler, and he happens to be the grandson of President John Tyler, a U.S. President who served from 1841 to 1845.

John Tyler was born in 1790.  In other words, a man born in 1790 has two living grandsons.

To put this in perspective, Jane Garfield, the granddaughter of President James Garfield (who was a Major General for the Union in the Civil War), is 99 years old. [2016 note, I can not find any Internet evidence regarding whether Jane Garfield is still alive. ] Garfield was President 40 years after Tyler.  (Garfield was also the second president of the United States to be assassinated-he died just before his 50th birthday.  The first President to be assassinated, of course, was Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. President during the Civil War.)

It's one heck of a story, this grandson, and has taken the Internet by storm in the past week, just after we passed the 150th anniversary of John Tyler's death in 1862.

So, putting Harrison Tyler aside, what is so fascinating about President John Tyler?

Although John Tyler's administration is interesting from an aspect of studying pre-Civil War history, his actions after states started to secede is what holds fascination for me.

A Peace Conference was held in February 1861 to reach a compromise and enable the Union to continue.  It was hoped a settlement could be reached before Lincoln took office in March of 1861. (unlike today, Presidents in that era took office on March 4 and not January 20).  John Tyler came from his home at Sherwood Forest Plantation to attend.

John Tyler, sent by his native Virginia, was the head of this conference.  It did not succeed, although a Constitutional amendment was proposed. 

After the failure of the Peace Conference, Tyler sided with the Confederacy, and was a delegate from Virginia to the  Provisional Confederate Congress.  When elections to the First Confederate Congress were held in 1861, Tyler was elected to their Congress but died before he took office.

He is buried in Richmond, VA near the grave of President James Monroe.  As he was in rebellion his death was not officially mourned by the Union.  On the other hand, the Confederacy declared him a hero.  A grand funeral was held in his honor.

Do you have something like this in your family?


  1. We used to pass Sherwood Forest on the way to Williamsburg to visit my sister when she was a student at William and Mary. That was roughly a zillion years ago.
    Thanks for stopping in at my blog and leaving a comment--I really appreciate it!

  2. Pretty interesting bit of history here! Had no clue about this :)

  3. This post shows great research done by you. I am feeling quite enlightened -- to say the least. Thanks for writing a great post.

  4. Thanks for sharing this educational information. I did not know much about President John Tyler. This post is a perfect one for Literacy Musing Mondays. I hope you will link up with us at: http://maryanderingcreatively.com/book-lovers-commenting-contest

  5. Gotta love a guy who names his place after Robin Hood... especially if he might have been among Robin's targets!

  6. That's actually very interesting. This is the first time I'm hearing about it, which is a shame because it's a whole lot more news worthy than the majority of the garbage they show on the news.

  7. I love learning about history and you did a great job with your research. Fascinating stuff!

  8. I remember reading about John Tyler's grandson. It must have been 2012 when that first came out. I was fascinated at how the grandson could still be alive.

  9. As a native Marylander, I've never heard this story and I would love to visit Sherwood Forest this spring. How fascinating!

  10. I love all the interesting trivia you share about history!

    I think the most interesting thing in our family lineage is the fact that my Dad's great-great-grandfather on his dad's side was a full-blood Seminole chief.


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