Julia Gardiner Tyler

Julia Gardiner Tyler

Born: May 4, 1820 at East Hampton, New York
Died: July 10, 1889 (aged 69) at Richmond, Virginia
Spouse: John Tyler (m. 1844 – 1862)
Children: David Gardiner Tyler, John Alexander Tyler, Julia Gardiner Tyler-Spencer, Lachlan Gardiner Tyler, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Robert “”Fitz”” Fitzwalter Tyler, Pearl Tyler-Ellis

Offices held:
First Lady of the United States (1844 – 1845)

Facts about Julia Gardiner Tyler

Her beauty and her practiced charm attracted the most eminent men in the city, among them President Tyler, a widower since September. She met John at a White House reception in 1842. She enjoyed the hosting duties of being First Lady and she even hosted a grand White House ball that drew 3,000 guests.

She was given the nickname ‘Mrs. Presidentress’ by a journalist called F. W. Thomas who wrote for the New York Herald. She started the tradition of having the band play Hail to the Chief when the president entered the room. Julia publicly supported her husband’s joint resolution to make Texas a state.

Saddled by mounting debts, she was forced to sell one Virginia home and nearly lost the primary one she shared with Tyler after the White House years.

Julia Gardiner Tyler Childhood

Julia Gardiner Tyler was born in 1820 on New York’s Gardiner’s Island, one of the largest privately owned islands in the United States. She was the daughter of David Gardiner, a landowner and NY State Senator (1824 to 1828), and Juliana MacLachlan Gardiner. Her ancestry is described as being part Dutch, part Scottish and part English. Julia was raised in the town of East Hampton and the small hamlet of Bay Shore.

At the age of 19 (1839), she shocked polite society by posing on the arm of a gentleman, who was not her relative, advertising a middle-class department store that billed her as the “”Rose of Long Island.”” She was almost immediately sent to Europe in the hope of improving her social graces. They first left for London, arriving on October 29, 1840. After having visited England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Ireland and Scotland, the family got back to the US in September 1841.

Where is Julia Gardiner Tyler buried?

She was buried next to the president at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

How did Julia Gardiner Tyler die?

She suffered a stroke while in Richmond and, on July 10, 1889, died there, aged 69.