Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Lyon Gardiner Tyler


Lyon Gardiner Tyler, the son of John Tyler, 10th President of the United States was born at Charles City County in 1853. He attended the University of Virginia, became a member of the bar and practiced law at Richmond, Virginia. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1887, and in 1888 was named President of the College of William and Mary, a position he held until 1919. Tyler also served as an officer of the Virginia Historical Society. In addition to the practice of law, politics, and educational administration, Tyler was an historian and an occasional poet. His poetry was published in various periodicals of the day.

[Source: Armistead C. Gordon, Jr., Virginian Writers of Fugitive Verse 131 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1923)]

Lyon Gardiner Tyler

Lyon G. Tyler and the Quest for a Dissertation

A Confederate Catechism



Spirit voices tell me, dreaming,
"Courage, cease repining:
Soon she will come in glorious seeming,
Face with starlike radiance beaming,
Hair down fairest shoulders streaming,
Eyes with magic shining."

Spirit forms in glorious keeping
With these voices cheering,
Haunt me whether wake or sleeping,
All my soul in gladness steeping,
Change to smiling all my weeping
With their looks endearing.

Spirit hands are all around me
In the morn awaking;
In a trance-like state they've bound me,
And with love's sweet garlands crowned me,
All day long they still surround me,
Never once forsaking!

Spirit lips are whispering ever
Words of wondrous power:
"Soon she will come, to part ah! never,
Soon no human hand can sever
Ties that bind two hearts forever
In love's happy bower."

[Virginian Writers of Fugitive Verse, at 360]


Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Poem delivered by L.G. Tyler before the convention of the Kappa Sigma fraternity in Richmond, Va., October 28th, 1878 (Charlottesville, Virginia: Jefferson Book and Job Office, 1879)


Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Ripples of Rhyme: Ballads of Early Days (Richmond, Virginia: William Byrd Press, 1933)


Lyon Gardiner Tyler, The Letters and Times of the Tylers (Richmond, Virginia: Whittet & Shepperson; 1884-96)(3 vols.) [(Williamsburg, Virginia: 1896)(vol. 3): online text] (New York: Da Capo Press, 1970)

________________, Parties and Patronage in the United States (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1891)

_______________, The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and James River (Richmond, Virginia: Whittet & Shepperson, 1900)

_______________, England in America, 1580-1652 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1904) [online text] (New York: Cooper Square, 1968)(New York: Haskell House, 1969)

_______________ (ed.), Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625 (New York C. Scribner's Sons, 1907) [online text] (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1959)

_______________, Men of mark in Virginia, ideals of American life; a collection of biographies of the leading men in the state (Washington, D.C.: Men of Mark Pub. Co., 1906-09) [vol. 3: online text]

_______________, Williamsburg, the Old Colonial Capital (Richmond, Virginia: Whittet & Shepperson, 1907) [online text]

_______________, The Cavalier in America (Richmond, Virginia: Whittet & Shepperson, printers, 1913)

_______________ (ed.), Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915)(5 vols.) [vol. 4: online text]

_______________, John Tyler and Abraham Lincoln (Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Press, 1929)

_______________, A Confederate Catechism, the War for Southern Self Government (Holdcroft, Virginia: [s.n], 1930)(Holdcroft, Virginia: Mrs. Lyon G. Tyler, 7th ed., 1952)

_______________, A Criticism (Richmond: Richmond Press, printers, 2nd rev. ed., 1932)


John Elias Hobeika, The Sage of Lion's Den; an Appreciation of the Character and Career of Lyon Gardiner Tyler and of His Writings on Abraham Lincoln and the War between the States (New York: Exposition Press, 1948)

Russell Simth, The Role of Distinctive Traditions in the Modernization of the College of William and Mary: A History of the College from 1865-1919 (dissertation, College of William and Mary, 1980).

Research Resources

Political Scrapbook
Manuscripts and Rare Books Department
Swem Library
College of William and Mary

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Papers
University Archives
Swem Library
College of William and Mary