Family: Mary Todd Lincoln () - Mr. Lincoln's White House
Mary Todd Lincoln had always had a hard time meeting the severe The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater in. this day in , struggling lawyer Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Anne Todd, Molly met Lincoln in when she was 21 and he was Despite these opposite backgrounds, they met one night at a dance in Abraham approached Mary, and told her that he wanted to dance In those humble conditions, Mary gave birth to their first child - Robert Todd Lincoln.
These accounts [of her] are very much overdrawn. I was in the official family of Mr. Lincoln during his entire term, and never saw anything to justify such statements as have been made about Mrs. Lincoln at that time. That she was very eccentric there is no doubt, but [that] she went to the extremes reported I do not believe…She had her likes and dislikes.
At the Executive Mansion she would receive of evening fifteen and twenty ladies and gentlemen without any exhibitions of undue nervousness or excitement. She was a woman of great frankness and would speak her mind out. Historian George Bancroft recorded the breadth of her conversational repertoire on one occasion — from politics and secessionist brothers to White House redecorating and flowers.
Unfortunately for her husband, she was not discrete in her discussions and expressed her likes, dislikes and limited insight into state affairs.
Mary held Tuesday evening and Saturday afternoon levees during the White House social season. Journalist Laura Catherine Redden observed her at one levee: It was a chubby, good-natured face. It was the face of a woman who enjoyed life, a good joke, good eating, fine clothes, and fine horses and carriages, and luxurious surroundings; but it was also the face of a woman whose affectionate nature was predominant.
Lincoln while I was on day duty. Very few who were not about the house realized how exacting were the duties of her position. Nor could there be discrimination used at the state dinner-parties; any man who was bearing a part in the events of the day must be invited — and his women folks.
Jim Lane, rough old Kansas fighter, dined beside Salmon P. Chase with his patrician instincts. The times were too anxious to make of social affairs anything more than an aid to more serious matters.
It was necessary, of course; but it made it difficult for a first-lady-in-the-land with any preferences or prejudices not to make enemies on every hand. Lincoln also privately entertained a variety of other visitors such as Sen. Ira Harris, journalist and spiritualist Nathaniel P. Lincoln scholar Daniel Mark Epstein wrote: Lincoln also had a more benevolent and less publicized side — as demonstrated by her work with seamstress Elizabeth Keckley to aid freed slaves.
Is she were worldly wise she would carry newspaper correspondents, from two to five, of both sexes, every time she went, and she would have them take shorthand notes of what she says to the sick soldiers and of what the sick soldiers say to her. Then she would bring the writers back to the White House, and give them some cake and — and coffee, as a rule, and show them the conservatory.
Their deaths and that of the husband of her half-sister Emilie may added to the grief she felt as the result of the death of Willie; however, she pointedly told Elizabeth Keckley that she was not grieve her half-brothers. Her many Confederate relatives led to unfounded questions about her loyalty to the Union.
He decided against my husband, through him against me. He has been fighting against us and since he chose to be our deadly enemy, I see no special reason why I should bitterly mourn his death. Lincoln when he became president, often seeking patronage appointments and special favors.
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. She smuggled letters to her lawyer, James B. Bradwelland his wife Myra Bradwellwho 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. 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. Inshe suffered spinal cord injuries in a fall from a stepladder.
Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd
Shortly afterwards, she returned to Springfield and her health deteriorated until she died a few months later. On July 15,exactly eleven years after her youngest son died, she became unconscious and died the next morning of a stroke. Baker on Mary Todd Lincoln: 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: Lincolnin 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. Bakerto be 'close to life' in its depiction of Mary Lincoln's life. Vampire Hunterset during the Civil War. Their daughter Julia Edwards married Edward L. But change of environment opened the door of opportunity, and there was a marriage in which the fires of affection often burned low.
They were conventional but avant-garde, and they went in for a round of parties, dances, sleigh rides, political rallies, picnics and other excursions. Lincoln pursued in his early thirties, Matilda Edwards was the center of male attention in Fellow attorney Orville H.
Lincoln, Mary Todd did most of the courting.
Marriage to Mary Todd – Abraham Lincoln Historical Society
In these conversations I think it came out that Mr. Lincoln had perhaps on one occasion told Miss Todd that he loved Matilda Edwards, and no doubt his conscience was greatly worked up by the supposed pain and injury which this avowal had inflicted upon her.
There is no doubt of her exceeding anxiety to marry him. I think she made his home tolerably disagreeable and hence he took to politics and public matters for occupation.
If his domestic life had been entirely happy, I dare say he would have stayed at home and not busied himself with distant concerns.
Family: Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882)
In that way she may have been of use to Lincoln. Lincoln was honorable, able and popular, his future, they said, was nebulous, his family relations were on a different social plane. His education had been desultory. He had no culture, he was ignorant of social forms and customs, he was indifferent to social position.
He told her how quickly Lincoln had mastered the science of law; how keen and honest his insight into matters of right and wrong; how unerring his judgment; how quick-witted he proved himself in quoting sentences applicable to a particular case from the Bible, Shakespeare, Robert Burns, or other authors he had absorbed and made his own; how surprisingly he had mastered the English language and how clearly, forcibly and eloquently he expressed his thought.
Then with a note of tenderness Stuart described the dignity and nobility of his partner in defending the just cause of a poor and ignorant man. He told of his scorn for an ignoble action and of his scathing ridicule of a political demagogue in the opposition, making the audience roar with laughter and converting their sympathies and votes to his own side. One Springfield resident recalled that the question Mr.
Lincoln prepared a letter for friend Joshua F. Lincoln to confront Mary Todd in person — which he did. Lincoln and Miss Todd resumed at the home of Springfield editor Simeon Francis, whose wife acted as a matchmaker for them.
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Katherine Helm wrote that their marriage in November came as a surprise to friends: Ninan Edwards on the street told him that he and Mary had decided to be married quietly at Mr. Edwards, feeling responsible for Mary, exclaimed: Lincoln agreed to Mr. It was a bright cool morning in November and Mary fairly flew to the home of her uncle, Dr.
John Todd, who was much beloved by his nieces, being so calm and quiet and affable. Lincoln that the wedding would be deferred until the next evening. It was a very small gathering, not more than thirty people. Sister Mary had just finished a new dress, it was a white silk with blue brocaded flowers scattered over it in bunches and little garlands.
Lincoln came from his office Mary reminded him it was time to change for the party. He looked at her with a smile. I do not think he knew pink from blue when I married him. Lincoln was looking thoughtfully into the fire and apparently did not hear what Mary was saying. Lincoln, but we are not quite ready for sleep just yet.
Mary often watched for her husband and when it grew time for him to come home she would meet him at the gate and they would walk to the front door swinging hands and joking like two children.
Lincoln admired Mary and was very proud of her. She took infinite pains to fascinate him again and again with pretty coquettish clothes and dainty little airs and graces. She was gay and light-hearted, hopeful and happy. She had a high temper and perhaps did not always have it under complete control, but what did it matter? Her little temper was soon over, and her husband loved her none the less, perhaps all the more, for this human frailty which need his love and patience to pet and coax the sunny smile to replace the sarcasm and tears — and, oh, how she did love this man!
Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd - HISTORY
Her entire upbringing, as well as her personal needs, influenced her decision to devote body and soul to husband, children, home. One day he undertook to correct his child and his wife was determined that he should not, and attempted to take it from him; but in this she failed.
She tried tongue-lashing, but met with the same fate, for Mr. Lincoln biographer William E. She in turn delighted in making herself pretty for him. Her total love for him magnified his public and private virtues and minimized those of his political opponents.
Lincoln loved the dance, and often left her husband to take care of the children while she enjoyed the pleasures of the ballroom. To show you she was of a kindly disposition, however, and very womanly withal, when I came home from the Mexican war I stopped over night with Lincoln and his family, and when bedtime came she showed me to my sleeping apartment.
I was very tired, and when I had retired she came in the room and carefully tucked the covers around me as though I were a child. The papers have said many things utterly untrue of Lincoln and his home life.
After all, who of us is perfect? I think Lincoln was the best conversationalist of his time. We never retired when Lincoln stopped with my family until 11 or 12 at night, only wished then time was not so rapid in its flight.
He always meekly accepted as final the authority of his wife in all matters of domestic concern. Lincoln came to their house with a carpetbag. He told her father: I have found that when Mrs. Lincoln gets one of these nervous spells, it is better for me to go away for a day or two. If Mary like a good argument now and then to clear the air, he often withdrew at the first sign of a confrontation, for he hated quarrels and tried to avoid them.
He could be temperamental, introverted, and forlorn. And some of his daily habits irritated highborn Mary; he often answered the door in his stocking feet, and he liked to lie in the hallway and read newspapers aloud.
Despite the homey paternal images of her husband pulling his children in wagons and babysitting while she went to church, he could not have done this very often, for he was away a great deal. Some problems, of course, were real Mary, however, seemed full of fears even when all was well. When she sensed a hint of danger she panicked, and when disaster actually struck she collapsed.
There is no doubt that she was super-critical. There is no doubt that she often devoid of tact. There is no doubt that was — during a large portion of her married life — a nervous and mental invalid, subject to violent fits of anger, and almost childish tantrums. There is no doubt that she was almost insanely jealous. There her efforts to manage the White House conflicted with those of the American people, who were unprepared for the Mary Lincoln version of domestic feminism in what they considered their house.
Having never learned of the public world while enrolled in her distinctly private one, Mary violated the boundaries erected around the proper female deportment of the wives of public officials. But what she had done in Springfield, she would do in Washington. Lincoln, tending his garden and sawing wood. This was from the year up to his election to the presidency. At the time Mr. I often went to the office with father to get the pay for the work done.
Father could not talk English, I went to interpret for him. I hardly ever went there that Mr. Lincoln did not make me a present of a piece of money and pat me on the face and say: Mendonza [sic], with a world of feeling in his tone and manner. It was that sad morning at the old Great Western Depot, when he bid all farewell from the rear platform of the last car.
He saw father standing by, and reached his hand down and shook father by the hand and bade him goodby. It was the last time we saw him alive.
Mendonza told, in his own way, a story of Lincoln, homely, trivial in incident, but full of the nature which made him great. The day was very hot. We hunted for blackberries all morning, for at that time they were getting scarce. We were gone until He took them to Mrs.
Lincoln, but when she saw them she complained because they were so small. Father told me to tell Mrs. Lincoln these were the last picking; they were smaller than the last, but no more were to be found. Lincoln wanted to know what father asked for these. I told her 15 cents. She refused to pay more than 10 cents. Father said he could not afford to sell for that. So just as we were about to start away, Mr. Lincoln came around the house from the front. He greeted father and asked me why we did not sell the berries to Mrs.
Lincoln wanted to give father only 10 cents for them. Lincoln put 15 cents in my hand and told Mrs. Lincoln to take them and put them away. Lincoln did not like that. Lincoln spoke up and told me to tell father it was cheap enough; that he had earned every cent and more, too. Lincoln was a very kindhearted man. Lincoln playing with the baby and pretending to be the pony pulling the baby-wagon forgot the baby in it and thinking of something else did not realize that he was pulling an empty wagon, that he had dumped the little driver, who was left kicking and squalling in the gutter.
With much laughter, they told me that Mr. Lincoln did not wait to hear all that Mary had to say, his long legs taking him out of sight with great celerity.