Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The North of the South - Readers' Comments - NYTimes.com

The North of the South - Readers' Comments - NYTimes.com: "Robert David Lion Gardiner, last 'lord of the manor' of Gardiners Island, in Suffolk County, New York was related to the former First Lady, Julia Gardiner, the second wife of the former President John Tyler. He was said to be 'in charge' of Richmond, VA during the Civil War. Mr. Gardiner said that his great-aunt, said to have been the prettiest of all of First Lady's, had a dream that John Tyler would soon die, one night while at their estate in Tidewater Virginia. She rode a horse through the night and met him on the steps of the hotel used as the Confederate headquarters and heard his consternation for traveling in such dangerous circumstances. He died though, shortly thereafter and Mr Gardiner said both sides held up the hostilities to allow the grieving former First Lady Julia Tyler (nee Gardiner) and her entourage to cross the battleground and return to New York where her father had been the US Senator for New York. He and others had been killed on the USS Princeton when an experimental gun, the so-called 'Peacemaker' exploded in salute of Washington's Mount Vernon in passing on the Potomac River. That event had literally thrown the widowed President Tyler together with the young Julia Gardiner, in a national tragic mourning for a number of people. She would later live her life on Staten Island after a much publicized court case over a contestable will, setting precedent, which named large properties in Manhattan, thought scandalously changed. Ironically, I suppose, Mr. Gardiner related, he served in naval intelligence in WWII aboard a newer USS Princeton, and related of denying when in law school, of being 'that Gardiner'."

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