Sep. 10, 1842 Washington District of Columbia District Of Columbia, USA
Presidential First Lady. She was born on the Cedar Grove Plantation, about twenty miles from Richmond, Virginia to a wealthy planter and a politician. Her education consisted of long hours of tutoring in the basics: reading, writing and arithmetic, believing this was all a female needed. After her marriage to the future President John Tyler, the couple using Letitia's money purchased a nearby plantation naming it "Sherwood Forest." Letitia rarely left home and played little role in her husband's career do to the demands of her ever expanding family which untimely numbered eight. Tyler advanced his own career first in Congress then became Governor of Virginia. Suffering from paralysis after a stroke, Letitia was a near-invalid when they moved into the White House. She confined herself to a second story room and took no part in social affairs or any functions as First Lady. She attended her daughters wedding in the White House which marked her only public appearance. In the seventeen month as First Lady, she suffered a second stroke which took her life. After a funeral in the East Room of the White House with services officiated by the rector of St. John's Episcopal Church. her body was sent to Richmond by train and brought back by carriage to Cedar Grove where she was buried a short distance from Sherwood Forest, the plantation where Letitia and John Tyler lived before he became President. It has been carefully preserved and maintained by President Tyler's decedents who still own the property. The mansion is said to be the longest frame house in America and contains many original furnishings, heirlooms, silver and paintings. During the civil war, the plantation was used to house union troops and then turned over to former slaves who looted and vandalized the property. Some marks and damage was allowed to remain and can be seen today. President Tyler quickly found solace from his grief marrying Julia Gardiner a woman thirty years his junior. After leaving the White House they made Sherwood Forest their home. Upon his death, President Tyler was interred in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery with a grandiose funeral and the erection of an enormous marker. He died a Confederate and at his request his body was wrapped in a Flag of the South. When Julia passed, she was interred beside him. Letitia was forgotten. Her grave still remains today in the brick walled cemetery just a short distance from her old birth house which was Cedar Grove Plantation. (bio by: Donald Greyfield)
Inscription: All that is Mortal of Leticia Tyler Wife of John Tyler President of the United States lies underneath this marble. She departed this life 10 Sept. 1842 at the President's House in the City of Washington in the 52 year of Her Age. Her life was an illustration of the Christian virtues and her death the death of the righteous.