Born to an extremely affluent family in May of 1820, Julia Gardiner would raise eyebrows when she would marry the current President John Tyler. A recent widower, John Tyler was nearly 30 years her senior, and had spent time trying to court her only a few months after the death of his first wife, Letitia Tyler. He won her over by comforting her when her father unexpectedly died on an excursion the Gardiner’s were accompanying the President on; known as the USS Princeton Disaster, the world’s largest navel gun at the time, the “Peacemaker,” exploded, resulting in the death of Julia’s father and several others. A wonderful socialite, though not learned in the machinations of political practices, she used her standing, and influence to help President Tyler secure the support he needed in order annex the territory of Texas. She is on the 11th Gold Coin of the First Spouse Gold Coin series, and is the second to feature the 10th inscription, referring to her husband’s Presidency. The First Spouse gold Coin series, authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 honors First Ladies in the first series of it’s kind.
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