This chapter shows how John Tyler had his eye on the prize of Texas from the moment he entered the White House. Americans had long been interested in acquiring Texas. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 during Jefferson's presidency, many people thought that all or at least a large part of Texas was included in the bargain. In Tyler's first official message to Congress, less than two months after he assumed the executive office on the death of William Henry Harrison, President Tyler signaled his intention to annex the independent Lone Star Republic. As a disciple of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Tyler accepted their belief in the connection between territorial expansion and the viability of republican institutions. Unfailing in his adherence to the Madisonian doctrine of “extending the sphere,” the new president placed Texas at the forefront of his administration's ambitious expansionist agenda.
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