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Carnegie's Maid. Marie Benedict. Gore Vidal. Murder in the Lincoln White House.

Uncertain Summer. Betty Neels. The Emancipator's Wife. Barbara Hambly. Elizabeth Keckley. Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? Basil Thomson. Murder between the Lines. Radha Vatsal. Jen Turano. Madame Presidentess. Nicole Evelina. The Fifth of March. Ann Rinaldi. Janis Cooke Newman. Fates and Traitors. The Day Lincoln Was Shot. Jim Bishop. The Detective's Assistant. Kate Hannigan. The Elevator. William Dean Howells. Paul Jennings. A Woman's Wartime Journal. Dolly Sumner Lunt. Slave Narratives after Slavery.

William L. Theophilus North. Thornton Wilder. Mark Twain Anecdotes and Quotes. David Bruce. Through Five Administrations. William Henry Crook. Melancholy Accidents. Peter Manseau. Once Upon a Pedestal. Emily Hahn. Death by Association.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Frances Lockridge. Experiences of a Bandmaster. John Philip Sousa. Defiant Daughter. Linda Martin. Level 6: North and South. Elizabeth Gaskell. Pudd'nhead Wilson and Other Tales. Mark Twain. The Uninvited Countess. Michael Kilian. John Drinkwater.

They Knew Lincoln. John E. Abraham Lincoln. The Garotters. Abraham Lincoln: The Story Teller. The Story of Abraham Lincoln. The Life of Lucy Stone. Alice Stone Blackwell. Lucy A. Hattie E. Mr Tompkins. David Blatchford. Conversations with Lincoln. Gordon Leidner. Ephraim S. Peter J.

Steve Kenny. Lucy Stone - Influential Women in History. Peter Taylor. Mrs Miller. Carlton D Kennedy. Against the Clock a Cricket Story. Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. James L. Bygone Stories From a Kentucky Newspaper. Karen Ballentine. Two years later, her father married Elizabeth "Betsy" Humphreys and they had nine children together.

Her great-great maternal grandfather Samuel McDowell was born in Scotland , and emigrated to Pennsylvania.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Other Todd ancestors came from England. At an early age Mary was sent to Madame Mentelle's finishing school, [6] where the curriculum concentrated on French and literature. She learned to speak French fluently and studied dance, drama, music, and social graces. By age 20, she was regarded as witty and gregarious, with a grasp of politics. Like her family, she was a Whig.

Elizabeth, married to Ninian W. Edwards, son of a former governor , served as Mary's guardian. Douglas and others, she chose Abraham Lincoln , a fellow Whig.

Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln…

She was 23 years old and he was 33 years of age. Robert and Tad survived to adulthood and the death of their father, and only Robert outlived his mother. William Wallace Lincoln. Lincoln and Douglas eventually became political rivals in the great Lincoln-Douglas debates for a seat representing Illinois in the United States Senate in Although Douglas successfully secured the seat when elected by the Illinois legislature, Lincoln became famous for his position on slavery, which generated national support for him. While Lincoln pursued his increasingly successful career as a Springfield lawyer, Mary supervised their growing household.

Their house, where they resided from until , still stands in Springfield, and has been designated the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. During Lincoln's years as an Illinois circuit lawyer, Mary was often left alone for months at a time to raise their children and run the household. During her White House years, Mary Lincoln faced many personal difficulties generated by political divisions within the nation. Her family was from a border state where slavery was permitted. Mary staunchly supported her husband in his quest to save the Union and was strictly loyal to his policies.

Considered a "westerner" although she had grown up in the more refined Upper South city of Lexington, Mary worked hard to serve as her husband's First Lady in Washington, D. Lincoln was regarded as the first "western" president, and critics described Mary's manners as coarse and pretentious. She refurbished the White House, which included extensive redecorating of all the public and private rooms as well as the purchase of new china , which led to extensive overspending.

The president was very angry over the cost, even though Congress eventually passed two additional appropriations to cover these expenses. Upon President Lincoln's death, she had a large amount of debt with the jeweler, which was subsequently waived and much of the jewelry was returned. Mary suffered from severe headaches, described as migraines , throughout her adult life, [22] as well as protracted depression.

During her White House years, she often visited hospitals around Washington to give flowers and fruit to wounded soldiers. She took the time to write letters for them to send to their loved ones. Responsible for hosting many social functions, she has often been blamed by historians for spending too much money on the White House. As the Civil War ended, Mrs. Lincoln expected to continue as the First Lady of a nation at peace. President Lincoln awoke the morning of April 14, in a pleasant mood. Robert E. Lee had surrendered several days before to Ulysses Grant, and now the President was awaiting word from North Carolina on the surrender of Joseph E.

The morning papers carried the announcement that the President and his wife would be attending the theater that evening. At one point, Mary developed a headache and was inclined to stay home, but Lincoln told her he must attend because newspapers had announced that he would. During the third act, the President and Mrs. Lincoln drew closer together, holding hands while enjoying the play. Mary whispered to her husband, who was holding her hand, "What will Miss Harris think of my hanging on to you so?

She was holding Abraham's hand when Booth's bullet struck the back of his head. Lincoln accompanied her mortally wounded husband across the street to the Petersen House , where he was taken to a back bedroom and laid crosswise on the bed there, where Lincoln's Cabinet was summoned. At one point, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton ordered Mary from the room as she was so unhinged with grief.

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President Lincoln remained in a coma for approximately nine hours. Mary was allowed to return to Lincoln's side, [34] and, as Dixon reported, "she again seated herself by the President, kissing him and calling him every endearing name. Afterward, she received messages of condolence from all over the world, many of which she attempted to answer personally. To Queen Victoria she wrote:.

I have received the letter which Your Majesty has had the kindness to write. I am deeply grateful for this expression of tender sympathy, coming as they do, from a heart which from its own sorrow, can appreciate the intense grief I now endure. Victoria had suffered the loss of her husband, Prince Albert , four years earlier. As a widow, Mrs. Lincoln returned to Illinois and lived in Chicago with her sons. She had been born into slavery, purchased her freedom and that of her son, and became a successful businesswoman in Washington, D.

Although this book provides valuable insight into the character and life of Mary Todd Lincoln, at the time the former First Lady and much of the public and press regarded it as a breach of friendship and confidentiality. Keckley was widely criticized for her book, especially as her editor had published letters from Mary Lincoln to her. It has now been gratefully accepted by many historians and biographers and been used to flesh out the President and First Lady's personalities behind the scenes in the Executive Mansion and been used as the basis for several motion pictures and TV mini-series during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

She insisted that she deserved a pension just as much as the widows of soldiers, as she portrayed her husband as a fallen commander. The death of her son Thomas Tad in July , following the death of two of her other sons and her husband, brought on an overpowering grief and depression. In March , during a visit to Jacksonville, Florida , Mary became unshakably convinced that Robert was deathly ill; hurrying to Chicago, she found him healthy.

During her visit with him, she told him that someone had tried to poison her on the train and that a " wandering Jew " had taken her pocketbook but returned it later. Lincoln had an irrational fear of poverty. In , she went to spiritualist photographer, William H.

Mary Lincoln Biography :: National First Ladies' Library

Mumler , who produced a photograph of her that appears to faintly show the ghost of President Lincoln behind her photo in Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Due to her erratic behavior, Robert initiated proceedings to have her institutionalized. She went to several pharmacies and ordered enough laudanum to kill herself, but an alert pharmacist frustrated her attempts and finally gave her a placebo. Three months after being committed to Bellevue Place , she devised her escape: She smuggled letters to her lawyer, James B.

Bradwell , and his wife Myra Bradwell , who was not only her friend but also a feminist lawyer. She also wrote to the editor of the Chicago Times. Soon, the public embarrassments that Robert had hoped to avoid were looming, and his character and motives were in question, as he controlled his mother's finances. The director of Bellevue at Mary's trial had assured the jury she would benefit from treatment at his facility. In the face of potentially damaging publicity, he declared her well enough to go to Springfield to live with her sister Elizabeth as she desired.

Mary Lincoln was released into the custody of her sister in Springfield. In she was declared competent to manage her own affairs. The earlier committal proceedings had resulted in Mary being profoundly estranged from her son Robert, and they did not see each other again until shortly before her death. Lincoln spent the next four years traveling throughout Europe and took up residence in Pau, France. Her final years were marked by declining health. She suffered from severe cataracts that reduced her eyesight; this condition may have contributed to her increasing susceptibility to falls.

In , she suffered spinal cord injuries in a fall from a stepladder.

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  6. Shortly afterwards, she returned to Springfield and her health deteriorated until she died a few months later. During the early s, Mary Lincoln was confined to the Springfield, Illinois residence of her sister Elizabeth Edwards. On July 15, , exactly eleven years after her youngest son died, she became unconscious and died the next morning of a stroke. Biographies have been written about Mary Lincoln as well as her husband. Barbara Hambly 's The Emancipator's Wife is considered a well-researched historical novel that provides context for her use of over-the-counter drugs containing alcohol and opium, which were frequently given to women of her era.

    Janis Cooke Newman 's historical novel Mary: Mrs. Lincoln , in which Mary tells her own story after incarceration in the asylum in an effort to maintain and prove her sanity, is considered by Mary's recent biographer, Jean H. Baker , to be 'close to life' in its depiction of Mary Lincoln's life.