First Ladies: Tyler Wives II

Lead: In 1844, within six months of the death of his first wife, the President was in pursuit of another.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a lengthy marriage to Letitia Christian, John Tyler found himself a widower in the third year of his single term as President. Official mourning for Letitia was barely over when at a White House dinner party Tyler met his second wife, Julia Gardiner. She was born into a prominent Long Island family, was bright, lively, intelligent, and much sought after in Washington society. On the night of their meeting she played cards with the President and he fell hard for her. After two weeks of high pressure courting, John Tyler, father of seven, proposed to a woman thirty years his junior while they were dancing at the Washington's Birthday Ball. At first she refused, but she did not break off their relationship nor refuse his frequent and sentimental love notes filled with references to "raven tresses, brightest roses and stars peeping from behind their veils."

First Ladies: Tyler Wives I

Lead: The wives of President John Tyler were a study in contrast.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1790, Letitia Christian Tyler grew up on a rich plantation east of Richmond, Virginia. She married the future U.S. Senator, Governor, Vice-President, and President after a five- year courtship and in their thirty years of marriage remained a modest fixture in the background of her ambitious husband's busy life. When John served in the Senate, Letitia preferred to remain at home raising the children and managing the household. She did it so efficiently that John was free to pursue his political career.