Hon. John Duke Tyler (1794-1860)

Hon. John D. Tyler came to Montgomery County, Tenn. from Virginia in 1818.  He was born and reared in the State of Virginia.  At the age of five years he began attending an old Scotchman’s school, and from him received a thorough classical education.  Before he was fourteen he had completed his Latin and Greek course, and at the age of fifteen was offered and accepted the position of Latin tutor at the Academy of Warrenton, North Carolina.  In the War of 1812 a company of cavalry was raised in his county and he was elected captain, though at that time he was barely eighteen years of age.  At the age of nineteen he married and came to Montgomery County, Tenn., and followed the occupation of school teaching.  He followed no set rules or plans, but was very original in his mode of educating, and trustees were not allowed to visit his school.  He purchased a farm near Clarksville soon after coming to the State, and there lived and conducted his school for nearly forty years.  He won such a reputation as an educator and disciplinarian that parents from all parts of the South brought their boys to him to be educated, not seeing them again for years.  He was an accomplished classical scholar, and many of his evenings were spent in reading aloud Homer and other Greek poets, translating in clear and attractive English.  Shakespeare was his favorite English author and he was so fond of books that he was always glad to have others share their contents with him.  Mr. Tyler was a firm Whig and objected to see soldiers occupy high civil offices, consequently he opposed Gen. Jackson in his race for the presidency.  He was never a politician, but was twice sent to the Legislature and once to the State Senate, and in 1844 was one of the electors for Henry Clay.  He died May 20, 1860, after leading a useful and happy life.  Never was a man more worthy of the confidence of his friends, and his hospitality was unbounded.  Like Thomas Jefferson he was a famous fiddler in his day, and the evenings were spent reading aloud and playing the violin.  When the news of his death reached Clarksville (ten miles away), the court, which was then in session, adjourned, the business houses were closed, and the citizens held a meeting in honor of his memory.  He was singularly pure and blameless in his private life and his death was mourned by all who knew him.
Goodspeed History of Tennessee, 1886
Another biography of John Duke Tyler appears on this site in the Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly.
Virginia Militia in the War of 1812, From Rolls in the Adjutant General’s Office (1852) includes the "Pay Roll of Captain John Tyler’s Company, of the Second Corps D’Elite, in the Service of the United States, at Camp Charles City Courthouse, Commanded by Col. Moses Green, from Sept. 4 to October 11, 1814."  A Supplement of Muster Rolls includes a partial roll for "Captain John Tyler’s Company - Fifty-second Regiment."  The Muster Roll is undated.  The members of the company are the same on both documents.


Submitted by A C Doggett At ACDOGGETT@AOL.COM

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