Letitia Tyler Semple

From The Ladies' Home Journal, February 1897.

Letitia Tyler Semple

Letitia Tyler Semple

In the luxurious retirement of the Louise Home at Washington, D. C., the eldest living daughter of a President of the United States, Mrs. Letitia Tyler Semple, daughter of John Tyler, who succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of President William Henry Harrison, is now passing her days. Her mother, who was in delicate health when Mr. Tyler became President, died shortly afterward. During the period of Mrs. Tyler's invalidism her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Robert Tyler, presided at the White House. After the death of Mrs. Tyler, which occurred in September, 1842, President Tyler invited Mrs. Semple, who was residing at her home in Virginia, to take up her residence at the White House. She was able to do this without difficulty, as her husband had been appointed a Purser in the Navy, and was then at sea. Thus, until her father's second marriage, Mrs. Semple occupied the high position of mistress of the Executive Mansion.

When the Civil War began Mrs. Semple hastened from Brooklyn, where she was living, to Williamsburg, Virginia, where she aided in the establishment of hospitals, and in the arrangements made for the care of the sick and wounded. At the close of the war she established a school for young ladies in Baltimore, and later accepted the munificent provision made by the late W. W. Corcoran for just such ases as hers, when he founded and perpetually endowed the Louise Home at Washington as a luxurious and congenial home for gentlewomen of fallen fortunes.


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