Transcript No. 1809
September 9, 1999
JOHN TYLER'S CABINET RESIGNS
By Bill Jones
The departure of a high ranking member of the President's cabinet would
be a major news event. But what if almost the entire cabinet was to
resign? It happened on this day,
September 9th, 1841.
John Tyler became president in April of 1841, when William Henry
Harrison died after only a month in office. Tyler was the first vice
president ever to become president under those circumstances, and some in
Congress felt he was just a caretaker president. Tyler insisted he was
the president, and he drove his point home when he vetoed the new charter
for the Bank of the United States twice, only a few months into his
In the 1830s, Democratic president, Andrew Jackson opposed the re-
charter of the Bank of the United States. Jackson felt the bank had too
much power, and was convinced it was run largely for the benefit of a few
However, the Whig party--Tyler's party--strongly favored the bank.
They felt that it brought stability to the economy. In the 1832
presidential election, the bank re-charter became the major issue. Andrew
Jackson won that election, and when Van Buren succeeded him four years
later, the bank lost its Federal charter, but continued to operate as a
In 1840, the Whigs swept the Democrats from office. The Whigs were
confident they could revive the Federally chartered bank. It came as quite
a shock to them when Tyler vetoed the bank charter bill.
After the second veto, Tyler's entire cabinet, except for Secretary of
State Daniel Webster, resigned in protest. This left Tyler a man without a
party--and a president with little power for the rest of his term. In
1844, the Whigs didn't even consider Tyler as a presidential candidate, and
he sank into relative obscurity.
This has been "Money Talks." Today's program was written by Bill
Jones. "Money Talks" is a copyrighted production of the American
Numismatic Association, 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903,