October 2016 - Williamsburg VA
We visited the Berkeley Plantation last week. We stopped by Sherwood Forest.
John Tyler bought this 1,200-acre plantation in 1842, when he was still serving as 10th president of the United States, and it was his retirement home from 1845 until his death in 1862. He expanded the original 1780 frame plantation house into one of the longest private residences in Virginia—300 feet long but only one room deep. Tyler was the first vice president of the United States to succeed to the presidency and set an important precedent by claiming the full powers of that position. His major goal as president was the annexation of Texas, which occurred shortly after he left office. Expelled from the Whig Party that nominated him, he was the first president threatened with impeachment. He named his plantation “Sherwood Forest” because he considered himself a political outlaw—like Robin Hood.
The home is occupied by Tyler's grandson. There is an honour system fee of $10 each to walk the grounds.
The first thing you see is a pet cemetery.
Known to be the longest frame house in America, it is over 300 feet long.
Somewhat sickly much of his life, John Tyler suffered increasingly worse health as he aged. He was preparing to take his seat in the Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia, when he died, on January 18, 1862.
Due to his allegiance to the Confederacy, Tyler's death was ignored by the federal government, with a very conspicuous lack of official notices and condolences. The Confederacy did recognize his death, however, and a Confederate flag was draped over his casket during the funeral.
Tyler wanted to be buried on his Sherwood Forest estate in a location selected by his wife and memorialized with “an uncostly monument of granite or marble,” but the Civil War had driven his family from the estate so he was buried at Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery, just feet away from President James Monroe. The General Assembly of Virginia originally planned to erect some type of monument, but their focus at the time was on the war and not placing headstones.