Letitia Tyler (Christian) (1790 - 1842) MP

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Birthplace: Cedar Grove New Kent Co., VA
Death: Died in White House, Washington, D.C.
Managed by: Chad Bouldin
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Letitia Tyler (Christian)

Letitia Christian Tyler, born Letitia Christian (November 12, 1790 – September 10, 1842), first wife of John Tyler, was First Lady of the United States from 1841 until her death. Letitia Tyler had been confined to an invalid's chair for two years when her husband unexpectedly became President. Nobody had thought of that possibility when he took his oath of office as Vice President on March 4, 1841; indeed, he had planned to fill his undemanding duties from his home in Williamsburg, Virginia where his wife was most comfortable, her Bible, prayer book, and knitting at her side.



Letitia Christian was born at the Cedar Grove plantation in New Kent County, Virginia. She 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."

Letitia and John Tyler married on Tyler's 23rd birthday at Cedar Grove, her family's home. Their 29-year marriage appears to have been a singularly happy one.

Mrs. Tyler avoided the limelight during her husband's political rise, preferring domestic responsibilities to those of a public wife. During his congressional service, she remained in Virginia except for one visit to Washington during the winter of 1828-1829. In 1839, she suffered a paralytic stroke that left her an invalid. As First Lady, she remained in the upstairs living quarters of the White House; she came down just once, to attend the wedding of her daughter (Elizabeth) in January 1842.


Letitia CHRISTIAN was born on 12 Nov 1790 in Cedar Grove, New Kent County, Virginia. She died on 10 Sep 1842 in The White House, Washington, District of Columbia. She was buried in Cedar Grove Plantation, Virginia.

Spouse: John TYLER (10th President of the USA). John TYLER (10th President of the USA) and Letitia CHRISTIAN were married on 29 Mar 1813 in Cedar Grove, New Kent County, Virginia. Children were: Mary TYLER, Robert TYLER, John TYLER, Letitia TYLER, Elizabeth TYLER, Ann Contesse TYLER, Alice TYLER, Tazewell TYLER.


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Letitia Tyler's Timeline

November 12, 1790
Cedar Grove New Kent Co., VA
March 29, 1813
Age 22
Cedar Grove, New Kent County, Virginia, United States
April 15, 1815
Age 24
September 9, 1816
Age 25
Charles City, Virginia, United States
April 27, 1819
Age 28
May 11, 1821
Age 30
July 11, 1823
Age 32
April 5, 1825
Age 34
March 23, 1827
Age 36
December 6, 1830
Age 40