John Tyler (1786-1789)

Further reading:

Peter Graham Fish, Federal Justice in the Mid-Atlantic South: United States Courts from Maryland to the Carolinas, 1789-1835 (2002) and John O. Peters, From Marshall to Moussaoui: Federal Justice in the Eastern District of Virginia (2013) treat Tyler’s service on the U.S. District Court (1811-1813).

Christopher Leahy, “Torn between Family and Politics: John Tyler’s Struggle for Balance,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 114, No. 3 (2006), pp. 322-355; includes a discussion of Judge John Tyler’s influence on his son John (1790-1862).

Lyon G. Tyler, “Judge John Tyler, Sr., and his Times; Proceedings on the Presentation of his Portrait to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia” (1927).

Lyon G. Tyler, The Letters and Times of the Tylers (1884); (available online through the Internet Archive).

Research collections:

Founders Online, from the National Archives and Records Administration, provides access to Tyler’s correspondence in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson and the Papers of James Madison. Several letters include comments on court cases, politics, and the law; in a letter written May 26, 1810, Jefferson complains to Tyler about U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall and the state of the law in general:

I have long lamented with you the depreciation of law science. The opinion seems to be that Blackstone is to us what the Alcoran is to the Mahometans, that every thing which is necessary is in him, & what is not in him is not necessary. I still lend my counsel & books to such young students as will fix themselves in the neighborhood. Coke’s institutes, all, & reports are their first, & Blackstone their last book, after an intermediate course of 2. or 3. years. It is nothing more than an elegant digest of what they will then have acquired from the real fountains of the law. Now men are born scholars, lawyers, Doctors; in our day this was confined to poets.

Duke University (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
Durham, N.C.

Joseph Jones papers, 1681-1895; 704 items; correspondence; finding aid available.

Library of Virginia (State Government Records Collection, Office of the Governor)
Richmond, Va.
Gov. John Tyler Executive Papers, 1808-1811; 3.65 cu. ft.; finding aid available.