William Tyler Page

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William Tyler Page

William Tyler Page (1868 – October 19, 1942), was best known for his authorship of the American's Creed. He was born in 111 Record Street Frederick, Maryland, United States, a descendant of Carter Braxton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and of the tenth U.S. President John Tyler. In 1881, at the age of 13, he travelled to Washington D.C. to serve as a page at the U.S. Capitol, thus beginning a 61-year-long career as a national public servant.

In 1917 at age 49, Page wrote the American's Creed as a submission to a nationwide patriotic contest, the goal of which was to have a concise but complete statement of American political faith. Drawing on a wide variety of historical documents and speeches, including the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and others, he crafted a simple yet profoundly moving expression of American patriotism.

His submission was chosen above more than 3000 others. On April 3, 1918 it was accepted by the U.S. House of Representatives, on behalf of the American people. Today it also often comprises part of the Naturalization Ceremony for new Americans.

There is a William Tyler Page Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

In 1919 Page was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives,[1] and later Emeritus Minority Clerk, a post he maintained for the remainder of his life. He was highly respected by members of both major parties throughout his service, as a principled gentleman whose patriotism was inspirational and whose love of America was unquestioned.

Wm Tyler Page standing sm.jpg

Page died on October 19, 1942, after serving his country his entire adult life, humbly but always proudly. The House of Representatives adjourned the following day in his honor. That day, Rep. Eaton (RNJ) said:

"He believed that the Constitution of the United States was next to the word of God: the most spiritually illuminated and divinely inspiring political document of modern times. So he sat here, a philosopher, a friend, a Christian gentleman, and we sat at his feet and received from him new strength, new courage, new understanding."

For many years, Page had served as the President General of the United States Flag Association. The night before his death, he gave an address to the Daughters of the American Revolution on the Golden (50th) Anniversary of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag. The last picture taken of him shows him with his hand over his heart, gazing at the symbol of the country he loved.

American's Creed[edit]

The American's Creed is as follows:

"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

"I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."

The American's Creed, handwritten by Page

Concerning the Creed, William Tyler Page said:

"The American's Creed is a summing up, in one hundred words, of the basic principles of American political faith. It is not an expression of individual opinion upon the obligations and duties of American citizenship or with respect to its rights and privileges. It is a summary of the fundamental principles of American political faith as set forth in its greatest documents, its worthiest traditions and by its greatest leaders."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Art & History - Clerks". Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2011-06-14. "
    66th (1919-21) William Tyler Page MD May 19, 1919
    66th (1919-21) William Tyler Page MD May 19, 1919
    67th (1921-23) William Tyler Page MD Apr 11, 1921
    68th (1923-25) William Tyler Page MD Dec 05, 1923
    69th (1925-27) William Tyler Page MD Dec 07, 1925
    70th (1927-29) William Tyler Page MD Dec 05, 1927
    71st (1929-31) William Tyler Page MD Apr 15, 1929"
     

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
South Trimble
Clerk of the United States House of Representatives
1919-1931
Succeeded by
South Trimble