PRESIDENTIALCHILDREN: TYLER'S 15, STILL A RECORD This articles introduces Tyler's large family and tells what became of each of his children. President Tyler, in addition to being remembered as a traitor (he served in the Confederate Congress), is well known for his fertility.
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John Tyler, President from 1841-1845, had two wives. Both were First Ladies, and between them had fifteen children, which is still the record for presidential children. Fourteen of these children lived to maturity.
Tyler's first wife, Letitia, suffered a stroke in 1839, and during her years as First Lady, remained upstairs in the living quarters of the White House, coming downstairs only once for her daughter's wedding in January of 1842. On September 9, 1842, she suffered a second stroke and died peacefully the next day. She had given birth to eight children, seven of whom lived to maturity. John Tyler remarried in June 1844. His second wife was Julia Gardner, who gave birth to seven children, all of whom lived to maturity.
Mary Tyler, 1815-1848. She was married in 1835 to a wealthy Tidewater planter named Henry Lightfoot Jones. She died two months after her thirty-third birthday.
Robert Tyler, 1816-1877. After he served as his father's private secretary in the White House, Robert settled in Philadelphia, where he became a leader in the state Democratic Party. He practiced law and held the positions of sheriff's solicitor and chief clerk of the state supreme court. He supported James Buchanan throughout his career. Robert's wife was an actress named Priscilla Cooper, who acted as official White House hostess for the invalid Letitia Tyler for the first three years of John Tyler's Presidency. When the Civil War broke out, a mob attacked Robert's home and he had to flee Philadelphia. He returned to Virginia where he served as the register of the Treasury of the Confederacy. He was broke after the war and settled in Montgomery, Alabama where he became wealthy again as a lawyer and publisher of the Montgomery Advertiser. He was also a leader of the state Democratic Party in Alabama.