November 12, 2024

Letitia Christian Tyler

November 12, 1790

Letitia Christian TylerLetitia Christian Tyler—Born November 12, 1790 (Providence Forge, VA). Died September 10, 1842 (Washington, D.C.)

White House Years: 1841-1842

  • Letitia Tyler had little interest in becoming first lady, and it came as quite a shock to her and her husband when President Zachary Taylor died, and Vice President John Tyler had to take over.
  • Having little formal education, Letitia Tyler developed the skills of being a good homemaker and a mother, which John Tyler sought as refuge from his political career.
  • Little changed in her demeanor when Letitia Tyler got to the White House; she quietly remained on the second floor managing the household affairs of the White House while her daughter-in-law Priscilla Tyler functioned as lady of the house.
  • Letitia Tyler’s only appearance at a White House social function was for her daughter Elizabeth Tyler’s wedding.
  • Letitia Tyler was the first first lady to pass away in the White House. She died peacefully with a damask rose in hand in 1842 at the age of fifty-one.


  • "I have frequently heard our father say that he rarely failed to consult her judgment in the midst of difficulties and troubles, and that she invariably led him to the best conclusion," said one of Letitia Tyler’s daughters.

Printer-Friendly Version

Inaugural Lifetime Institutional Members view all