Tags: first lady | John Tyler | Julia

Julia Tyler: The Causes That Defined President John Tyler's First Lady

By    |   Wednesday, 24 June 2015 05:35 PM

Julia Gardiner Tyler was the second wife of John Tyler, the 10th U.S. President, and was America's First Lady from June 26, 1844, to March 4, 1845.

In her early 20s, Julia Gardiner met the 53-year-old Tyler at a White House reception, and the two began courting in 1843, a few months after the death of first lady Letitia Christian Tyler.

The New York-born Julia Gardiner was outgoing, independent and beautiful, and took the nation's capital by storm, despite being a 24-year-old bride who was five years younger than the president's oldest daughter.

Vote Now: Who Was the Greatest American President?

Shaking off criticisms of the 30-year age difference, Julia Gardiner Tyler served with aplomb. "She presided with vivacity and animation at a series of parties," according to the White House Historical Association. "She enjoyed her position immensely, and filled it with grace. ... she welcomed guests with plumes in her hair, attended by maids of honor dressed in white. She once declared, with truth: 'Nothing appears to delight the President more than...to hear people sing my praises.'"

Mrs. Tyler viewed her role as more than a hostess of social events. She sought newspaper coverage to raise her public profile, specifically through a reporter who described her outfits and personality in great detail, according to The National First Ladies' Library.

She also allowed an engraving of her portrait to be mass-produced and sold as "The President's Bride," and was the first First Lady to pose for a photograph, according to Carl Anthony Online.

As part of her branding, the first lady permitted her name to be used on sheet music for popular polka dancing popular. She then publicized the music, called "The Julia Waltzes," as well as the fact they were named for her. Believing her role warranted national attention, Tyler was always meticulously dressed and always rode in a coach with eight matching white Arabian horses.

Tyler is also credited with the evolution of the presidential ceremony. She directed that the president be further from the public during appearances, along a wall as opposed to in the middle of a room. This also came with the benefit of creating an efficient single line for guests.

Some historians cite that she directed the Marine Band to play a certain march to accompany the president's entrance, while others attribute that directive to first lady Sarah Polk. The song became known as "Hail to the Chief."

Urgent: Who Is the Greatest American President in History?

Though not well-versed in political nuance, Julia Gardiner Tyler used her charm and considerable appeal to further causes about which she felt strongly. Through flattery and tireless advocacy, she supported the proposed annexation of Texas. She attended debates on the topic, and then sent out copies of her husband's plan for a joint-resolution annexation, which required a majority vote from both houses, according to The National First Ladies' Library.

Her efforts led to the one of the earliest known political cartoons involving a first lady. President Tyler was pictured at crossroad, with one lane labeled "Texas," and the other "White House," suggesting a presidential campaign. Julia Gardiner is shown under a parasol at the end of the Texas road, as if luring him down that path, according to The National First Ladies' Library.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Julia Gardiner Tyler was the second wife of John Tyler, the 10th U.S. President, and was America's First Lady from June 26, 1844, to March 4, 1845.
first lady, John Tyler, Julia
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 05:35 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved