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Tyler Family Papers, Group A

Identifier: Mss. 65 T97 Group A

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Papers, 1716-1944, of the John Tyler family of "Sherwood Forest," Charles City County, Va. The collection contains correspondence, 1818-1862, of John Tyler concerning politics, War of 1812 claims, presidential election of 1840, land purchases in western Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois, "Sherwood Forest," business matters and his family.

Some of the children of John Tyler and his first wife, Letitia Christian Tyler, are represented in the collection: Robert Tyler (and wife, Elizabeth Priscilla Cooper Tyler), John Tyler, Jr., Letitia Tyler Semple (and husband James A. Semple) and Tazewell Tyler.

A great part of the collection consists of the papers of John Tyler's second wife, Julia Gardiner Tyler, which concern education, clothes, social life, political appointments, slavery, the Civil War, "Sherwood Forest," familiy, and pensions for presidential widows. All of the children of John Tyler and Julia Gardiner Tyler are represented in the collection: David Gardiner Tyler, John Alexander Tyler, Julia Gardiner Tyler Spencer, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Lachlan Tyler, Robert Fitzwalter Tyler and Pearl Tyler Ellis.

A list of "Enslaved People Found in the Tyler Family Papers and Other Sources in Special Collections" compiled by Meredith Jackson in 2020 is filed in the front of Box 1.


  • Creation: 1716-1946


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Librarian, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Information:

John Tyler was the 10th president of the United States. John Tyler was born the son of John Tyler, Sr. (1747-1813) and Mary Armistead (1761-1797), in Charles City County, Virginia, as the second of eight children. He was the 10th President of the United States. Other offices held include Governor of Virginia, U.S. Senator, member of the House of Representatives, member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Captain of a military company, and other offices.

He was educated at the College of William and Mary and went on to study law with his father. John Tyler was married twice. His first wife was Letitia Christian Tyler with whom he had 8 children; she died in the White House in September 1842. His second wife was Julia Gardiner Tyler (July 23, 1820 - July 10, 1889), with whom he had 7 children.


11.00 Linear Feet (22 Century Boxes)

Arrangement of Materials:

Any letter by a Tyler or a Tyler spouse is under the writer, even it the recipient was also a Tyler. Arrangement after President Tyler's papers is by his first wife and their descendants, and then his second wife and their descendants.

Acquisition Information:

W&M Special Collections Research Center began acquiring and collecting Tyler family papers in 1922 and the collection has grown considerably since. The vast majority of this collection was donated by generous family and friends of the Tyler family between 1922 and 2002, with the bulk of the collection being donated to in 1949 by Mrs. Sue Ruffin Tyler and in 1955 by the children of Lyon G. Tyler. Some materials in this collection were purchased by W&M Special Collections Research Center. Acc. 1982.09 was received on 3/1/1982. Acc. 1982.10 was purchased and received on 3/17/1982. Acc. 1983.57 was purchased and received on 11/14/1983. Acc. 1984.03 was purchased and received on 1/24/1984. Acc. 1985.56 purchased and received on 11/8/1985. Acc. 1985.60 was purchased and received on 12/18/1985. 1986.04 was purchased and received on 3/5/1986. Acc. 1987.08 was purchased and received on 2/6/1987. Acc. 1987.30 was purchased and received on 5/27/1987. Acc. 1988.26 was purchased and received on 6/28/1988. Acc. 1988.27 was purchased and received on 6/29/1988.

Related Materials:

See the Tyler Family Papers, Groups B-H, as well as the Tyler Family Papers Additions, A-H.

Guide to the Tyler Family Papers, Group A
Special Collections Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository