Letitia Christian Tyler

Letitia Christian Tyler

Born: November 12, 1790 at Cedar Grove, Virginia
Died: September 10, 1842 (aged 51) at Washington, D.C.
Spouse: John Tyler (m. 1813 – 1842)
Children: Mary Tyler-Jones, Robert Tyler, John Tyler III, Letitia Tyler-Semple, Elizabeth Tyler-Waller, Alice Tyler-Denison, Tazewell Tyler

Offices held:
First Lady of the United States (1841 – 1842)
Second Lady of the United States (1841 – 1842)

Facts about Letitia Christian Tyler

She dated John for five years and it wasn’t until weeks before the wedding that she kissed him. Tyler appears on a commemorative postage stamp from the Isle of Man Post Office, issued May 23, 2006. She also appears on a one-half ounce gold coin issued by the United States Mint on July 2, 2009. Mrs. Tyler avoided the limelight during her husband’s political rise, preferring domestic responsibilities to those of a public wife.

While she largely remained seated in her room, her Bible and prayer books being the only reading at her side table, she took a lively interest in the activities of her young children, their spouses and her growing circle of grandchildren. She was a semi-invalid following a stroke in 1839 and her daughter-in-law, Priscilla, assumed the duties of the hostess of the White House. Letitia was the 1st First Lady to die in the White House on September 10, 1842.

Letitia Christian Tyler Childhood

Born at the Cedar Grove plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, Letitia Christian was the daughter of Colonel Robert Christian, a prosperous planter, and Mary Brown-Christian. Letitia was shy, quiet, pious, and by all accounts, utterly selfless and devoted to her family.

She met John Tyler, then a law student, in 1808. Their five-year courtship was so restrained that not until three weeks before the wedding did Tyler kiss her – and even then it was on the hand. In his only surviving love letter to her, written a few months before their wedding, Tyler promised, “”Whether I float or sink in the stream of fortune, you may be assured of this, that I shall never cease to love you.””

Where is Letitia Christian Tyler buried?

She was taken to Virginia for burial at the plantation of her birth.

How did Letitia Christian Tyler die?

Letitia Tyler died peacefully in the evening of September 10, 1842 from a stroke. At the time of her death, she was 51 years old, making her the youngest First Lady to die.