The first vice president to assume the presidency following the death of an incumbent, John Tyler was derided by critics as "His Accidency." Yet historian Edward P. Crapol depicts Tyler as a bold leader who used the malleable executive system to his advantage.
Indeed, argues Crapol, the man remembered for being little more than the second half of the "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" campaign slogan was in reality a precedent-setting chief executive who interpreted the Constitution broadly to expand presidential power and lay the groundwork his successors in the White House would use to create an American empire. He also ranks as the only US president to die in a foreign country, having pledged his allegiance to the Confederacy in the months leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Crapol discusses the presidency of John Tyler on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. The author of John Tyler: The Accidental President published by the University of North Carolina Press, Crapol is the William E. Pullen Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the College of William & Mary.
The event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute and co-sponsored by KCUR's Up To Date.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.