Maklumat

Mary Lincoln


Mary Todd, anak perempuan Eliza Parker dan Robert Smith Todd, dilahirkan di Lexington, Kentucky pada 13 Disember 1818. Ayahnya adalah seorang bankir dan peguam yang kaya yang merupakan ahli aktif Parti Whig. Ibunya meninggal ketika Mary berusia enam tahun dan dia tidak terus bersama ibu tirinya.

Pada tahun 1839 Mary tinggal bersama kakaknya di Springfield, Illinois. Semasa di sana dia bertemu dengan Abraham Lincoln. Walaupun mendapat bantahan dari keluarganya, pasangan itu berkahwin pada bulan November 1842. Pasangan ini mempunyai empat orang anak lelaki: Robert Lincoln (1843-1926), Edward Lincoln (1846-50), William Lincoln (1850-62) dan Thomas Lincoln (1853- 1871). Tiga daripada kanak-kanak lelaki itu mati muda dan hanya Robert yang hidup cukup lama untuk berkahwin dan mempunyai anak.

Ketika Abraham Lincoln pergi ke Washington untuk mengambil tempat duduknya di Dewan Perwakilan pada tahun 1847, Mary dan anak-anak pergi bersama. Lincoln merasakan bahawa Mary "menghalang saya untuk menghadiri perniagaan" dan pada tahun berikutnya seluruh keluarga kembali ke Springfield.

Kematian Edward Lincoln pada 1 Februari 1850, menyebabkan Mary mengalami krisis rohani. Dia berhenti menghadiri perkhidmatan Episcopal dan menjadi anggota Gereja Presbyterian.

Mary tidak berkongsi pandangan politik progresif suaminya tetapi menyokongnya dalam kempennya untuk menjadi presiden. Selepas kemenangannya pada tahun 1860 Mary bergabung dengannya di Washington. Tidak selesa di persekitaran barunya, dia cenderung memberi pampasan yang berlebihan dengan membelanjakan sejumlah besar wang untuk pakaian. Ini menyebabkan dia menanggung hutang yang besar.

William Lincoln meninggal pada tahun 1862. Hancur dengan kehilangan anak keduanya, Mary menjadi tertarik dengan spiritualisme. Rakan-rakan menjadi prihatin terhadap kesihatan mentalnya ketika dia mula menyatakan bahawa roh William datang mengunjunginya pada waktu malam.

Semasa Perang Saudara Amerika Mary berada di bawah pengaruh Charles Sumner. Dia sekarang menjadi seorang pemansuhan yang bersungguh-sungguh dan menjadi lebih radikal dalam isu ini daripada suaminya. Jahitan dan bekas budaknya, Elizabeth Keckley, juga membantu mengubah pandangannya mengenai perbudakan.

Mary bersama suaminya di Ford Theatre ketika dia dibunuh oleh John Wilkes Booth pada 14 April 1865. Peristiwa ini memberi kesan buruk kepada keadaan mentalnya dan dia sering mengalami kemurungan yang mendalam.

Keadaan menjadi lebih buruk pada tahun 1867 ketika William Herndon menulis sebuah buku yang mendakwa bahawa Lincoln telah memberitahunya bahawa Ann Rutledge, dan bukan Mary, adalah cinta dalam hidupnya. Dia menjawab dengan memberi komen: "Ini adalah balasan atas semua kebaikan suamiku kepada lelaki yang sengsara ini! Karena kasihan, dia membawanya ke pejabatnya, ketika dia hampir tidak berputus asa dan dia hanya seorang yang menderita,"

Sangat kesal dengan wahyu Herndon, Mary dan puteranya yang masih kecil, Thomas Lincoln, pindah ke Jerman. Namun, kesihatan anaknya yang buruk memaksanya kembali ke Amerika Syarikat. Tidak lama kemudian, Thomas meninggal dunia kerana batuk kering.

Mary terus bimbang tentang wang. Charles Sumner telah meyakinkan Kongres untuk memberinya pencen $ 3000 setahun. Dia juga telah menerima sebahagian besar harta pusaka suaminya. Namun, keyakinannya bahawa dia miskin, mengakibatkan tingkah laku pelik dan tidak rasional. Ini termasuk menjual pakaiannya dan menulis surat meminta wang dari ahli politik terkemuka. Pada tahun 1875, satu-satunya anaknya yang masih hidup, Robert Lincoln, mengatur sidang kewarasan. Mahkamah menilai dia tidak siuman dan dia berkomitmen ke sanatorium di Batavia, Illinois.

Pada 15 Jun 1876, perbicaraan kedua menilai Mary waras dan dia tinggal bersama kakaknya di Springfield. Kesihatannya terus merosot dan dia enggan meninggalkan bilik tidurnya. Mary Todd Lincoln meninggal dunia pada 16 Julai 1882.

Pada pukul 11 ​​malam saya dikejutkan oleh seorang rakan lama dan jiran, Miss M. Brown, dengan kecerdasan yang mengejutkan bahawa seluruh Kabinet telah dibunuh, dan Mr Lincoln menembak, tetapi tidak cedera. Ketika saya mendengar kata-kata itu, saya merasakan seolah-olah darah telah membeku di urat saya, dan paru-paru saya mesti runtuh kerana kehendak udara. Encik Lincoln menembak! Kabinet dibunuh!

Saya membangunkan Tuan dan Puan Lewis, dan memberitahu mereka bahawa Presiden ditembak, dan bahawa saya mesti pergi ke Rumah Putih. Kami berjalan dengan pantas menuju Gedung Putih, dan dalam perjalanan melewati kediaman Setiausaha Seward, yang dikelilingi oleh tentera bersenjata, menjaga semua penceroboh dengan titik bayonet.

Kami mengetahui bahawa Presiden itu cedera - bahawa dia ditembak jatuh di dalam kotaknya di teater, dan bahawa dia tidak dijangka tinggal hingga pagi; ketika kami pulang dengan hati yang berat. Saya tidak boleh tidur. Saya mahu pergi ke Puan Lincoln, ketika saya membayangkannya liar dengan kesedihan; tetapi ketika itu saya tidak tahu di mana hendak mencarinya, dan saya mesti menunggu hingga pagi. Tidak pernah jam berjalan begitu perlahan. Setiap saat kelihatan seperti zaman, dan saya tidak dapat melakukan apa-apa selain berjalan dan memegang tangan saya dalam penderitaan mental.

Pagi akhirnya tiba, dan pagi yang menyedihkan. Bendera-bendera yang melayang begitu gembira semalam ditutup dengan warna hitam, dan digantung dalam lipatan senyap pada setengah tiang. Presiden telah mati, dan sebuah negara berkabung untuknya. Setiap rumah ditutup dengan warna hitam, dan setiap wajah berwajah serius. Orang-orang bercakap dengan nada yang tenang, dan meluncur dengan bisik, mengagumkan, diam-diam di jalanan.

Kali terakhir saya melihatnya dia bercakap dengan baik kepada saya, tapi sayang! bibir tidak akan bergerak lagi. Cahaya telah memudar dari matanya, dan ketika cahaya itu padam, jiwa pergi bersama. Sungguh mulia jiwanya - mulia dalam semua sifat mulia Tuhan! Tidak pernah saya memasuki ruang kematian yang sungguh-sungguh dengan hati yang berdebar-debar dan langkah yang gemetar ketika saya memasukinya pada hari itu. Tidak ada manusia biasa yang mati. Musa dari umatku telah jatuh pada saat kemenangannya. Fame telah menenunkan kapel terpilihnya untuk keningnya. Meskipun alisnya dingin dan pucat dalam kematian, kapel itu tidak boleh pudar, kerana Tuhan telah menaburkannya dengan kemuliaan bintang-bintang abadi.

Semasa saya memasuki bilik, anggota Kabinet dan banyak pegawai tentera yang terkenal dikumpulkan di sekitar badan ketua mereka yang jatuh. Mereka memberi ruang untuk saya, dan, menghampiri badan, saya mengangkat kain putih dari wajah putih lelaki yang saya sembah sebagai berhala - dipandang sebagai demi-dewa. Tidak terlepas dari keganasan kematian Presiden, ada sesuatu yang indah dan sangat khusyuk dalam ekspresi wajah yang tenang. Di sana bersembunyi kemanisan dan kelembutan zaman kanak-kanak, dan keagungan intelektual seperti Tuhan. Saya memandang lama wajah saya, dan berpaling dengan air mata di mata saya dan sensasi tersedak di kerongkong saya. Ah! manusia tidak pernah berkabung sebelum ini. Seluruh dunia menundukkan kepala mereka dalam kesedihan ketika Abraham Lincoln meninggal.

Itu, Johnson yang menyedihkan, menyedari kematian suami saya. Kenapa, kad Booth itu, yang terdapat di dalam kotaknya, ada kenalan pasti ada. Saya sangat terkesan, dengan pemikiran yang mengerikan, bahawa dia, mempunyai persefahaman dengan para konspirator & mereka mengenali orangnya. Sudah tentu, semasa anda & saya hidup, Johnson, mempunyai banyak tangan, dalam semua ini.

Terdapat banyak dugaan mengenai siapa yang terlibat dengan J. Wilkes Booth dalam pembunuhan Presiden. Seorang utusan baru telah menemani Mr. Lincoln ke teater pada malam Jumaat yang mengerikan itu. Adalah tugas utusan ini untuk berdiri di pintu kotak semasa persembahan, dan dengan itu menjaga para tahanan dari semua gangguan. Nampaknya utusan itu terbawa-bawa oleh permainan, dan sehingga mengabaikan tugasnya sehingga Booth mendapat kemasukan ke kotak penalti. Puan Lincoln yakin bahawa utusan ini terlibat dalam plot pembunuhan.

Tidak lama selepas pembunuhan itu, Puan Lincoln berkata kepadanya dengan keras: "Jadi anda berjaga malam ini - berjaga-jaga di Gedung Putih setelah membantu membunuh Presiden!"

"Maafkan saya, tetapi saya tidak membantu membunuh Presiden. Saya tidak akan pernah dapat membunuh - apalagi dengan pembunuhan seorang lelaki yang begitu baik dan hebat sebagai Presiden."

"Tapi sepertinya kamu melakukan pembunuhan."

"Tidak, tidak! Jangan katakan itu," dia masuk. "Tuhan tahu bahawa saya tidak bersalah."

"Aku tidak mempercayaimu. Kenapa kau tidak berada di pintu untuk menahan pembunuh itu ketika dikejarkan ke dalam kotak?"

"Saya salah, saya akui, dan saya telah bertobat dengan pahit, tetapi saya tidak membantu membunuh Presiden. Saya tidak percaya bahawa ada yang akan berusaha membunuh lelaki yang begitu baik di tempat awam seperti itu, dan kepercayaan yang dibuat saya cuai. Saya tertarik dengan permainan itu, dan tidak melihat pembunuh masuk ke dalam kotak. "

"Tetapi kau seharusnya melihatnya. Kamu tidak mempunyai urusan untuk menjadi ceroboh. Aku akan selalu percaya bahawa kamu bersalah. Diam! Aku tidak akan mendengar kata lain," serunya, ketika utusan itu menjawab. "Pergi sekarang dan jaga jam tanganmu," tambahnya, dengan gelombang tangannya yang tidak menentu. Dengan langkah mekanikal dan wajah putih, utusan itu meninggalkan bilik, dan Puan Lincoln jatuh kembali ke bantalnya, menutup wajahnya dengan tangannya, dan mula terisak-isak.


Biografi Mary Todd Lincoln, Wanita Pertama yang Bermasalah

Mary Todd Lincoln (13 Disember 1818 – 16 Julai 1882) adalah isteri Presiden Abraham Lincoln. Dia menjadi tokoh kontroversi dan kritikan selama berada di Gedung Putih. Setelah kematiannya dan kematian tiga anaknya, dia menderita kesedihan yang besar dan secara emosional tidak menentu.

Fakta Pantas: Mary Todd Lincoln

  • Dikenali Untuk: Isteri Abraham Lincoln, dia adalah wanita pertama yang kontroversial
  • Juga dikenali sebagai: Mary Ann Todd Lincoln
  • Dilahirkan: 13 Disember 1818 di Lexington, Kentucky
  • Ibu bapa: Robert Smith Todd dan Eliza (Parker) Todd
  • Meninggal dunia: 16 Julai 1882 di Springfield, Illinois
  • Pendidikan: Shelby Female Academy, sekolah asrama Madame Mantelle
  • Pasangan suami isteri: Abraham Lincoln
  • Anak-anak: Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Baker Lincoln, William "Willie" Wallace Lincoln, Thomas "Tad" Lincoln
  • Petikan Terkenal: "Saya seolah-olah menjadi kambing kecil untuk Utara dan Selatan."

30. Ibu & rsquos Ibu Meninggal Dunia Ketika Dia Seorang Gadis Kecil

Walaupun Mary membesar dengan selesa, dia akan mengalami sakit hati. Sebagai pegawai bandar, bapa Mary & rsquos, Robert Todd, mempunyai hamba. Isterinya dan ibu Mary & rsquos, Elizabeth & ldquoEliza & rdquo Todd tinggal di rumah bersama anak-anaknya, tiga daripadanya datang ke dunia ini sebelum Maria.

Mary menjalani kehidupan yang riang hingga suatu hari ketika ibunya bersalin dengan anak ketujuh. Semasa melahirkan anak, Eliza menghubungi demam nifas dan tidak pernah sembuh. Beberapa hari selepas melahirkan George, Eliza meninggal dunia. Untuk dua tahun akan datang, nenek dan kakak perempuan Mary & rsquos menjaganya.


MARYGATE: SCANDAL LINCOLN

Selama bertahun-tahun, Mary Todd Lincoln telah dipanggil sebagai orang yang cerdik, neraka dan kacang.

Sekarang, wahyu baru dari rakan karib suaminya, Presiden Abraham Lincoln, menunjukkan tajuk lain mungkin sesuai: pencuri.

Pilihan buku harian Senator A.S. Owen Hickman Browning dari Illinois menceritakan pertuduhan terperinci oleh hakim dan pelayan rumah lelaki yang kontroversi itu dilakukan oleh wanita pertama yang kontroversial - antara lain dengan perbelanjaan akaun Rumah Putih.

Perincian berair telah disembunyikan di perpustakaan negeri di Springfield sejak tahun 1920-an, atas perintah keturunan Browning yang menyukai Puan Lincoln dan ingin melindunginya. Sejarawan telah lama membaca buku harian Browning untuk mendapatkan maklumat mengenai era Lincoln, tetapi mereka tidak pernah dibenarkan melihat sebilangan entri yang dikeluarkan sebagai syarat penjualan ke negeri ini.

Namun, baru-baru ini, pemegang amanah Perpustakaan Bersejarah Illinois - yang dikejar oleh sejarawan selama bertahun-tahun - memutuskan bahawa menyimpan buku harian itu melanggar peranan perpustakaan sebagai arkib. Walaupun kebanyakannya tidak diketahui oleh dunia, pembebasan petikan rahsia Browning seminggu yang lalu telah disambut dengan gembira di dunia penggemar Lincoln.

"Dia hanya bersikap sangat buruk," kata Michael Burlingame, pengarang terkenal Lincoln dan profesor sejarah di Connecticut College yang telah mengikuti petikan selama bertahun-tahun. & quotOrang cenderung memutihkan perkara untuk Mary Lincoln. Ini menjadikannya agak sukar untuk melakukannya. & Quot

Sebenarnya, Mary Lincoln mendapat akhbar yang jauh lebih buruk daripada yang baik dalam 102 tahun sejak kematiannya. Setiap buku harian, surat dan biografi telah mengungkapkan perincian baru tentang perangainya yang penuh dengan kegilaan. Dan tuduhan yang dicurinya dari pemerintah persekutuan telah meningkat sebelumnya.

Kini akaun Browning menambah data yang boleh dipercayai untuk menyokong caj tersebut, kata sejarawan.

Entri buku harian itu merangkumi perincian perbincangan Browning dengan Hakim David Davis, yang memanggil Puan Lincoln & kuota pencuri kelahiran semula jadi. dia pergi, menurut Davis, yang bertindak sebagai pentadbir harta tanah Lincoln pada satu ketika.

"Saling mengecewakan adalah semacam kegilaan dengannya," kata Davis kepada Browning, menurut catatan 29 Julai 1861, yang dibuat 14 tahun sebelum Puan Lincoln dimasukkan selama enam bulan ke rumah sakit jiwa Batavia.

Di samping itu, seorang pegawai rumah lelaki bernama & quotStackpole & quot mengatakan Puan Lincoln dan seorang tukang kebun rumah bersekongkol untuk membuat bil palsu untuk mendapatkan pembayaran perbelanjaan peribadi dari perbendaharaan awam, 3 Mac 1862, catatan masuk.

Dalam satu kes, Stackpole mengatakan, Mary Lincoln membeli pinggan perak untuk kegunaan peribadinya tetapi menagihnya kepada pemerintah. Di tempat lain, dia mengupah seorang pegawai gaji-hantu dengan gaji kerajaan $ 100 sebulan tetapi menyimpan wang itu untuk dirinya sendiri.

Stackpole juga mengatakan bahawa Puan Lincoln membocorkan surat-surat peribadi presiden kepada musuh politiknya dan bertemu secara peribadi dengan satu dokumen secara berkala.

Browning mempertahankan Mary Lincoln dalam buku harian.

Benar, dia menulis, dia mempunyai & # 39; marah & tidak dapat dilayan & # 39; & quot; Tetapi dia percaya & quot; tuduhan terhadapnya kerana dicabul dari Gedung Putih adalah palsu, & quot; dia menulis.

Namun, entri itu membimbangkan keponakan Browning, Eliza Miller, yang menjual buku harian itu ke State of Illinois 80 tahun yang lalu. Dia pernah mengunjungi Lincolns di Rumah Putih dan mendapati Mary Lincoln mesra dan ramah, kata Tom Schwartz, kurator Lincoln di perpustakaan bersejarah negeri itu.

Dia mengancam akan membakar buku harian itu jika negeri itu tidak bersetuju untuk menghapuskan bahagian yang tidak baik, katanya. Keluarganya memberikan restu untuk pembebasan buku harian itu minggu lalu.

Miller bukan satu-satunya pemain pertahanan Mary Lincoln. Terutama dalam beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini, dia telah menjadi ikon wanita feminis, yang menganggapnya sebagai mangsa serangan balik.

Orang menyalahkannya kerana seperti Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan dan Hillary Rodham Clinton-dia berpengaruh dalam pentadbiran suaminya, kata mereka.

Ditambah lagi, suaminya dilihat melakukan & mengutip perkara-perkara atas permintaannya, menurut seorang pemain pertahanan Mary Todd Lincoln.

"Dia biasa mengendong bayi di sekitar Springfield," kata Samuel Schreiner, seorang editor Reader's Digest yang telah bersara dan pengarang buku yang berpusat di Connecticut, & "The Trials of Mrs. Lincoln."

& quotSetelah dia ditangkap membuat kerja rumah. Orang menyangka dia mendorongnya. & Quot

Dia dipanggil & kuota kucing liar wanita pada zaman itu, & quot; oleh rakan kongsi undang-undang Lincoln, kata John Y. Simon, profesor sejarah di Southern Illinois University di Carbondale. Seorang pembantu Lincoln menyuarakan sentimen tersebut, setelah menulis bahawa & quothellcat & quot semakin berkembang & quot lagi neraka & quot pada hari itu. Seorang senator mengatakan bahawa dia kelihatan seperti lembu.

& quot; Pasti ada gambaran anti-feminis, & quot; kata Jean Baker, penulis biografi Mary Todd Lincoln yang berusaha bersungguh-sungguh pada tahun 1980-an untuk mendapatkan bahagian-bahagian buku harian Browning yang dikeluarkan.

& quotIni adalah wanita yang mempunyai sifat buruk. Tetapi dia juga mempunyai sifat yang baik, & quot; Jean Baker, penulis biografi Mary Todd Lincoln yang berusaha bersungguh-sungguh pada tahun 1980-an untuk mendapatkan bahagian-bahagian dari buku harian Browning yang telah dikeluarkan. & quotDia cerdas, bertenaga, dia menolong suaminya. Nampaknya tidak dapat melihat apa-apa yang baik mengenai Mary Lincoln. & Quot

Di sebalik reputasinya, Mary Lincoln masih menimbulkan kekaguman di antara banyak orang.

& quot; Dia berdiri di sebelah suaminya, & quot; Jill Ester, yang pergi dari Nebraska minggu lalu hanya untuk mengunjungi rumah keluarga di Springfield, yang kini menjadi mercu tanda bersejarah. & quotKebanyakan wanita duduk dan membiarkan perkara berlaku. & quot

"Mungkin dia sedikit lebih awal dari waktunya," kata Barb Gennardo, seorang guru kelas 4 dalam perjalanan lapangan dari St. Charles.


Mary Todd Menjadi Puan Lincoln

Walaupun hari ini dia sering disebut sebagai Mary Todd Lincoln, setelah dia menikah dia tidak pernah memasukkan nama gadisnya dalam tandatangannya, tidak seperti saudara tirinya Emilie Todd Helm. Mary menandakan namanya Puan Abraham Lincoln atau Puan A. Lincoln.

Mary Lincoln akan melahirkan empat orang anak, semua anak lelaki. Hanya yang pertama, Robert Todd, yang bernama ayah Mary & # 8217, yang akan hidup hingga dewasa. Di antara banyak kejayaannya, dia akan menjadi setiausaha perang, menteri ke London (gelarannya diganti menjadi duta besar dengan penggantinya), seorang peguam yang sangat berjaya, presiden Syarikat Kereta Pullman, dan seorang jutawan.

Anak-anak yang lain adalah Edward & quotEddie & quot (atau & quotEddy & quot) Baker (1846 & ndash1850), yang dinamakan sebagai teman keluarga dekatnya, kematian kanak-kanak ini menjadikan Mary mengalami kemurungan yang melemahkan untuk sementara waktu dan meramalkan masa berkabung yang mendalam dan berlarutan yang akan dia alami kemudian. William & quotWillie & quot Wallace (1850 & ndash1862), yang dinamakan oleh Dr William Wallace, suami kepada saudara perempuan Mary & # 8217, Frances, dia nampaknya menjadi kegemaran kedua ibu bapanya, dan kematiannya nampaknya telah memulakan penurunan emosional ibunya. kestabilan. Setelah kematiannya, saudari Mary, Elizabeth, yang selalu menjadi ibu pengganti kepadanya, dipanggil ke Washington dan tinggal selama dua bulan untuk menjaga Mary, yang terlalu sujud bahkan menjaga anak bongsu Lincoln, yang sakit di masa. Anak itu adalah Thomas & quotTad & quot (1853 & ndash1871), dinamakan untuk bapa Lincoln & # 8217 yang telah meninggal dua tahun sebelumnya.

Mary, dengan minatnya yang kuat dalam politik, menjadi pembantu Lincoln dalam karier politiknya. Antara lain, dia memperbaiki almari pakaiannya & sesuatu yang dia kurang memberi perhatian & mdash dan meringkaskan artikel surat khabar untuknya, dan kedua-duanya membincangkan topik politik. Walaupun wanita tidak dapat & quot; mengalahkan & quot; calon pada waktu itu, Mary terlibat dalam kempen menulis surat dan mengadakan acara sosial, seperti pesta strawberi yang menarik 300 tetamu ke rumah Lincoln (mungkin tidak semuanya sekaligus). Ketika suaminya mengetahui bahawa dia telah memenangi jawatan presiden pada tahun 1860, dia dilaporkan pulang dari pejabat telegraf sambil berteriak, & quot; Mary, kita terpilih! & Quot

Keperibadiannya selalu bersifat merkuri sepupu yang menggambarkan Mary di zaman kanak-kanak seperti hari April, & berhenti dari satu saat, seterusnya menangis seolah-olah hatinya akan hancur. & Quot rumah itu, malah memukulnya. Catatan lain oleh jiran dekat dan oleh orang yang sering berkunjung ke rumah Lincoln di kejiranan Springfield kelas menengah atas menunjukkan gambar pasangan yang sangat saling mencintai. Pada tahun 1869, dia menulis, & quotDari tahun kelapan belas saya & mdashAlways & mdashlover & mdashhusband & mdashfather & amp semuanya untuk saya & mdashtruly my all. & Quot

Dia sangat setia kepada suaminya. Ketika dia dikalahkan dalam percubaan keduanya untuk memenangi kerusi Senat A.S. oleh seorang rakan, Mary berhenti bercakap dengan isteri lelaki itu. Menjelang akhir Perang Saudara ketika saudara perempuan Mary & # 8217, Emilie Todd Helm, yang menjadi kegemaran orang Lincolns, menulis dengan marah kepada presiden, & quot; Peluru minnie anda telah menjadikan kita seperti kita, & quot; Lincoln memaafkannya bahawa Maria tidak pernah melakukannya.

Semasa Lincoln terpilih untuk penggal tunggal dalam Kongres A.S. 1846 & ndash48, Mary dan anak-anak pergi bersamanya ke Washington tetapi tidak lama kemudian pergi ke Kentucky untuk tinggal bersama ibu tirinya dan anak tirinya. Kedua wanita itu, yang lebih tua sekarang dan mempunyai kedua-duanya mengalami keibuan, berada dalam kondisi yang lebih baik, walaupun Mary menulis surat kepada Lincoln, & quot; dia fikir, ada di antara kita yang berada di tangannya lagi, dia akan menjadi lebih teruk daripada sebelumnya. & Quot

Setelah dia memenangi pemilihan menjadi presiden, keluarga itu berpindah ke Washington, D.C. Tidak ada seorang pun dari mereka yang akan tinggal di rumah Springfield lagi.


Mary Todd Lincoln

Lady Most abad kesembilan belas Wanita Pertama secara tradisional berperanan sebagai penyokong di belakang tabir untuk suaminya dalam tugas rasminya. Pasangan Presiden moden mungkin sama tetapi juga menjadi aktivis yang komited untuk tujuan yang wajar. Walau apa pun peranan mereka, tidak akan melayani suami mereka dengan baik jika mereka menarik publisiti buruk dengan cara apa pun. Salah satu contoh premis yang malang ini ialah Mary Todd Lincoln. Kerana, ketika Abraham Lincoln menghadapi selok-belok sebuah negara yang dibahagikan dengan perang, Mary Todd Lincoln sibuk berbelanja dan menagih sejumlah besar tagihan, menahan pandangan untuk menjumpai puteranya yang sudah mati, dan melantunkan cemburu ketika suaminya memperhatikan wanita lain dengan sopan . Adakah Puan Lincoln gila? Juri kemudian akan menjumpainya sehingga sekurang-kurangnya untuk sementara waktu, tetapi tetap saja dia adalah wanita yang kompleks pada era yang kompleks dalam suasana yang kompleks. Namun mungkin semua yang menjadi ciri Mary Lincoln mungkin dibesar-besarkan hanya kerana dia adalah isteri dan kemudian janda dari Great Emancipator yang legenda.

Sekiranya Abraham Lincoln terkenal dilahirkan dan dibesarkan dalam kemiskinan sempadan maka Mary Todd dilahirkan dalam kekayaan dan keistimewaan & # 8211 di perbatasan yang sama. Dilahirkan pada bulan Disember, 1813 di Lexington, Kentucky, Mary (sering disebut Molly) Todd adalah anak perempuan ketiga ahli perniagaan / ahli parlimen Kentucky, dan isteri pertamanya, dan dia dilahirkan dalam apa yang disebut oleh seorang ahli biografi sebagai keluarga & # 8220clannish & # 8221 . Molly Todd dan empat adik-beradiknya ditinggalkan tanpa ibu pada tahun 1825 ketika ibunya meninggal dunia ketika melahirkan bersama dengan bayi yang baru lahir. Todd berkahwin semula tidak lama kemudian, seorang wanita dari keluarga Virginia yang mempunyai idea tinggi untuk menanamkan idea-idea bangsawan ke dalam anak-anak Todd. Selain mengatasi kematian ibunya, Mary terbukti menjadi anak yang bebas yang akan menunjukkan penentangan yang tidak patuh terhadap rancangan Puan Todd yang baru.

Mary bersekolah di sekolah swasta, dan kemudian pada usia 14 tahun, dia mendaftar ke sekolah penamat kediaman di mana kurikulumnya menekankan adab, menari dan bahasa Perancis. Setelah menamatkan pendidikannya, Mary pergi ke Springfield, Illinois untuk melawat kakaknya Lizzie yang berkahwin dengan peguam Ninian Edwards. Dia berpindah ke sana secara kekal pada tahun 1839.

Berambut coklat, pipi kemerah-merahan berusia 20 tahun, Mary adalah orang yang suka berbicara lurus dan dengan demikian, dia adalah tambahan segar untuk apa yang menjadi ibu kota negara perbatasan desa. Oleh kerana saudari Lizzie sedar dari segi sosial, dia semestinya berharap Maria akan mendapat tempat yang sesuai dari kalangan pemuda dalam lingkungan sosialnya. Sebagai gantinya, Mary memerhatikan seorang pengacara yang tinggi dan lengang dari latar belakang yang buruk. Pada tahun 1840, dia dan Abraham Lincoln bertunang walaupun Puan Edwards merasa itu adalah ketidakcocokan kerana mereka terlalu tidak sama. Namun seperti yang dikatakan oleh seorang penulis biografi: "Kebenaran Molly tertarik pada orang positif yang berpikiran kuat, mungkin dia sangat mengagumi kekasaran mental yang telah ditinggalkan dari kimia. Dia adalah seorang wanita yang memiliki perasaan dan dorongan, tidak mampu untuk menangkap suami. ”(Profil dan Potret Presiden Amerika dan Isteri mereka, Margaret Bassett, hlm. 150)

Namun ketika pada bulan Januari, 1841 Lincoln menghentikan pertunangan, mungkin kerana dia merasakan kekurangan pertandingan cinta sejati, Mary kembali ke pusingan sosial. Semasa Lincoln jatuh sakit dengan kebimbangan mengenai perpisahan itu, Mary mula melihat seorang lagi ahli politik Springfield bernama Stephan A. Douglas. Namun ketika percintaan ini tidak berkembang, sementara serangkaian peristiwa tidak biasa segera menyatukan Mary dan Lincoln.

Sebuah akhbar tempatan menyiarkan serangkaian surat yang dikarang secara fiktif mengejek seorang ahli politik tempatan. Semasa Lincoln menulis dua surat dengan nada humor, Mary dan seorang rakan memberikan surat yang lebih langsung. Ahli politik itu mula mencurigai identiti pengarang surat terakhir ini dan untuk mengelakkan sebarang kesan kepada Mary, Lincoln mengaku sebagai penulis yang menyinggung perasaan. Ahli politik itu mencabar Lincoln untuk berduel tetapi dengan tujuan untuk mengelakkan siasatan kepada salah satu daripada mereka mencadangkan mereka menyelesaikan masalah ini dengan media. Ahli politik itu adalah orang pendek sehingga Lincoln mempunyai kelebihan, tetapi ketika pertarungan itu akan dimulai, ahli politik itu melihat ketidaksesuaian itu, menjadi lebih masuk akal dan menerima permintaan maaf. Namun, kerana peristiwa ini, Mary dan Lincoln bersatu kembali dan mereka berkahwin pada bulan November 1842 di rumah Edwards

Pada masa perkahwinan mereka, Lincoln adalah seorang pengacara yang mengikuti mahkamah dari satu komuniti ke komuniti yang lain, jadi Mary sering bersendirian di penginapan pertama mereka di sebuah kedai / penginapan tempatan. Pada tahun 1844, mereka membeli struktur cerita dan setengah dan dengan penambahan akhirnya di tingkat dua, rumah itu akan dikenali sebagai Lincoln Homestead yang bersejarah di Springfield, Illinois.

Secara beransur-ansur, keadaan kewangan Lincolns bertambah baik ketika Mary mengabdikan dirinya untuk keluarga mereka tetapi usaha gigihnya sering melelahkannya dan bahkan memberinya migrain. Ini menyebabkan ledakan emosi sekali-sekala, yang diterima oleh Lincoln dengan sabar. & # 8220Ia banyak kebaikannya, "katanya kepada rakan-rakannya," dan tidak sedikit menyakitkan saya. & # 8221

Anak lelaki pertama mereka & # 8211 dari empat & # 8211 akhirnya adalah Robert Todd yang dilahirkan pada bulan Ogos 1843, seorang anak yang dibesarkan untuk mengikuti bukan sahaja kerjaya perniagaan dan perkhidmatan awam yang berjaya tetapi juga menjadi satu-satunya anak lelaki Lincoln yang mencapai usia dewasa. Anak kedua Edward, lahir pada bulan Mac, 1846, tinggal cukup lama untuk menemani keluarganya ke Washington di mana Lincoln menjalani penggal di Kongres, tetapi anak lelaki itu meninggal pada bulan Februari, 1850. Pada bulan Disember tahun yang sama anak ketiga William dilahirkan, dan yang keempat, Thomas (dipanggil Tad) dilahirkan pada bulan April, 1853.

Rumah Lincoln mungkin sangat khas dari rumah Springfield yang lain. Lincoln memanggil Mary & # 8220Mother & # 8221 dan dia memanggilnya & # 8220Father & # 8221 atau & # 8220Mr. Lincoln. & # 8221 Kanak-kanak lelaki dengan pakaian buatan mereka bermain dengan anak-anak kejiranan, dan sering mengunjungi pejabat Lincoln & # 8217. Mary adalah seorang Presbyterian yang aktif, dan merupakan jiran yang baik. Menurut satu akaun, tidak lama setelah Tad dilahirkan ketika seorang wanita jiran dengan bayi baru jatuh sakit, Mary menghantar suaminya untuk mendapatkan bayi itu, dan kemudian mengembalikannya setelah Mary memberinya makan.

Namun Mary juga menghadapi masalah. Dia mempunyai sedikit konsep berhemat, dan selalu siap untuk menyatakan pendapat tentang orang lain. Seorang lelaki yang dia salahi adalah Billy Herndon, rakan sekutu muda Lincoln & # 8217, yang menyinggung perasaan Herndon sehingga ketidaksukaannya terhadapnya mencemarkan sumbangannya pada biografi Lincoln yang akan datang.

Ketika karier politik Lincoln mencapai puncaknya dalam Presidensi, Mary memutuskan untuk melengkapkan dirinya dengan betul. Dia pergi ke New York untuk memilih pakaian wanita yang terbaik tetapi ternyata dia menghabiskan banyak masa, dan itu adalah satu-satunya permulaan masalah.

Pada mulanya, dirancang bahawa Lincoln akan pergi ke Washington dengan kereta api khas, disertai oleh pembantu politik, berhenti untuk memberi ucapan dan majlis resepsi, sementara Mary dan dua anak lelaki yang lebih muda diikuti dengan kereta api penumpang biasa. Namun, Mary tidak mahu ketinggalan dalam keseronokan majlis itu sehingga keluarga itu menyertai pembantu politik dan rakan-rakan di kereta rasmi. Namun, walaupun Puan Lincoln mungkin tersenyum dan melambai dari tingkap kereta api, dia tetap bersikap rendah. Willie dan Tad, sebaliknya, akan turun dari kereta di setiap perhentian, berlari-lari di antara orang ramai, dan kemudian harus dilacak dan dimuat semula ketika tiba waktunya untuk pergi.

Kemudian ketika kereta api mendekati Washington, seorang pekerja kereta api bernama Allen Pinkerton datang ke kapal untuk memberitahu pihak presiden mengenai ancaman untuk menyerang Presiden ketika mereka tiba di Baltimore. Terdapat ancaman terhadap Lincoln dan bahkan Mary, sebagian besar dari Selatan, dan kerana Baltimore adalah sebuah bandar di selatan yang mempunyai sentimen, itu adalah bahaya yang nyata. Idea Pinkerton & # 39; s membenarkan kereta api terus ke Washington tanpa Lincoln yang akan memasuki ibu negara secara diam-diam. Walau bagaimanapun, tidak ada yang berlaku dan keluarga selamat bertemu kembali di Washington. Kemudian terlepas dari ancaman perang yang berkumpul, Perasmian diteruskan. Pada Perasmian Bola, kerana Presiden tidak menari Mary memimpin perayaan dengan calon Demokrat yang kalah dan bekas beau Stephen A. Douglas.

Selama beberapa bulan berikutnya, Mary terbukti menjadi Wanita Pertama yang berjaya. Walaupun perang, ada keinginan besar untuk yang normal sehingga Mary mengikuti jadual majlis resepsi, pesta dan acara sosial yang sibuk. Pengunjung mendapati dia adalah nyonya rumah yang hangat dan dia menjalin banyak kawan walaupun di antara lawan politik. Dia dibantu oleh seorang bekas budak bernama Lizzie Keckley yang pertama kali datang bekerja di White House sebagai jahitan dan tetap sebagai petugas Mary.

Namun Mary tidak lama lagi menjadi pusat kontroversi kerana keluarganya. Lagipun, dia adalah seorang Todd dari Lexington, Kentucky dan Todd & # 8217s adalah Gabungan & # 8211 dan sebenarnya, beberapa keluarganya berperang menentang kesatuan itu. Namun, walaupun dia berusaha untuk melepaskan ikatan kekeluargaan kerana perang, sekurang-kurangnya sekali tidak semudah itu.

Pada akhir tahun 1864, ibu saudara perempuan Mary & # 8217, Emilie Todd Helm (atau & # 8220Little Sister & # 8221 ketika Lincoln memanggilnya dengan penuh kasih sayang) menahan diri ketika dia cuba kembali ke Lexington bersama anak perempuannya. Lincoln memerintahkannya dihantar ke Washington untuk lawatan singkat. Namun tidak lama kemudian, perbelanjaannya yang berlebihan memberikan cabaran baru.

Kongres telah memperuntukkan $ 20,000 untuk menghias semula Rumah Putih tetapi ketika dia selesai, dia menghabiskan lebih dari $ 6.700. Lincoln marah ketika dia mengetahui bahawa dia telah menghabiskan banyak uang. "Ini akan menjadi bau orang Amerika untuk mengatakan bahawa Presiden Amerika Syarikat telah meluluskan rang undang-undang yang melampaui peruntukan $ 20,000 untuk flub dubs, untuk rumah lama yang terkutuk ini, ketika para prajurit tidak dapat memiliki selimut," kata Lincoln . Sekiranya Kongres tidak menutupi jumlah yang berlebihan, itu akan keluar dari poket Lincoln.

Pada awal tahun 1862, Tad dan Willie jatuh sakit. Walaupun Tad selamat, Willie yang berusia 11 tahun tidak melakukannya. Kerana Mary sangat bersedih, beberapa bulan sebelum dia dapat kembali ke rutinitas normal. Sejak saat itu, dia tidak mengenakan apa-apa selain hitam, dan menghindari apa pun yang mengingatkannya pada Willie, termasuk bilik tidurnya dan bilik tempat dia bersiap untuk dikebumikan. Dia bahkan berunding dengan media dan spiritualis, walaupun Lincoln & # 8217s mendedahkan beberapa dari mereka sebagai penipuan.

Kemudian pada tahun 1863, dia menyedari bahawa hutang peribadinya sebanyak $ 29,000 telah menjadi masalah besar. Kerana jika Lincoln tidak dipilih kembali pada tahun berikutnya, maka hutangnya akan menjadi pengetahuan umum dan pemiutang dapat menjadi lebih mendesak.

Ketika Perang Saudara hampir berakhir pada bulan April, 1862, Mary menemani Lincoln untuk menghadiri tinjauan pasukan dekat Washington. Dia telah melakukan perjalanan dengan ambulans tentera dan kerana perjalanan yang panjang telah menunda mereka, dia tiba terlambat untuk menaiki kuda dan mengambil tempat di sebelah suaminya. Sebagai gantinya, Puan Ord, isteri panglima jeneral, telah mengambil kedudukan itu dan Mary cukup marah untuk memarahi wanita dan juga Presiden. Selepas adegan yang memalukan, dia hanya boleh mengaku sakit dan kembali ke Washington. However, a few days later she was calm enough to make a return trip with an official party to inspect a scene of victory. By April 14, the war was over, and the Lincolns decided to celebrate with a trip to the theater.

Lincoln, Mary and a young couple went to Ford’s Theater to see the popular comedy “Our American Cousin” They were seated in a box, just off the stage, Lincoln in a rocking chair and Mary beside him. When John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal bullet, Mary screamed and fainted. By the time she was revived, the mortally wounded President had been removed across the street to a boarding house to await the end. A sobbing Mary came to his bedside several times, pleading for him respond, and though she was removed several times, she insisted she had to return. When he was finally pronounced dead early the next morning, the overwhelmed new widow was removed to the White House where she would remain for many weeks. The funeral and then the eventual burial in Springfield took place without her. In early June, 1865, the black swathed widow left Washington but not to return to Springfield, Instead she moved to Chicago. Congress had granted her a year’s presidential salary but though she bought a house, it turned out that she could not afford to live there. Since Lincoln had died without a will, his $87,000 estate had to be divided into three parts for his heirs, Mary, Tad and Robert. Finally, to cover her expenses she decided to sell her gowns and other accessories from the White House years. She had left with her extensive wardrobe though unfortunately rumors had arisen that she had attempted to smuggle White House valuables out in her hoop skirts.

Mary arranged for a commission broker to sell her property. Then after she entrusted appeal letters to the broker and the company used them for publicity she felt betrayed and backed out of the deal. Eventually she had to spend $800 to recovery her property.

Eventually Congress arranged for a pension of $3000 a year instead of the $5000 she wanted, but if she wished to retire from public notice, she was soon to be disappointed.

In 1868, Lizzie Keckley published a tell-all book called Behind the Scenes with the belief that she was defending Mary. Yet no matter her reasoning, Mary felt offended and betrayed.

Mary was so anxious to find peaceful obscurity she decided to move to Europe. In 1868 and she and Tad set off, but after nearly three years she had to return because Tad was ill. His death in July, 1871, possibly from tuberculosis, further devastated Mary.

In 1872, there was published a Lincoln autobiography, using some material provided by Billy Herndon, Lincoln’s one time law associate and no friend of Mary’s.

The widow was particularly disturbed over Herndon’s contention that Lincoln had been an agnostic. Her objections to the premise were so strong that Herndon retaliated with implications she was a lying harridan.

In a way, it was true. “She was, in fact, a woeful soul, traveling aimlessly, suffering hallucinations, sometimes spending wildly, sometimes obsessed with the fear of poverty.” (Bassett, p. 158)

At this time, Robert was so concerned about her inability to care for herself he had to bring legal action to declare her incompetent so she could get the care she needed. This meant a jury trial and was a final humiliation for the former First Lady. When she was declared legally insane, she tried to take poison, but when that failed she was removed to a sanitarium where she finally got the psychiatric care she needed. Improvement was so rapid, that she soon left the sanitarium to live with her sister Lizzie in Springfield. After a concerted crusade to reverse the insanity verdict, she succeeded in June 1876. After demanding Robert return her property, she moved to France.


Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln supported her husband throughout his presidency, and witnessed his fatal shooting at nearly point blank range at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865. Mary’s life was difficult after her husband was assassinated she suffered from depression and mental anguish, which led to her being hospitalized for a time.

Image: Mary Todd Lincoln in 1846

Mary Todd was born on December 13, 1818, in Lexington, Kentucky, the fourth of seven children born to banker Robert Smith Todd and Elizabeth Parker Todd. Robert Todd provided his children from two marriages with social standing and material advantages. When Mary was seven, her mother died. Mary’s father remarried to Elizabeth Humphreys in 1826. This marriage eventually brought nine more children into the house. Mary had a difficult relationship with her stepmother, who was not sympathetic toward her stepchildren, which may have contributed to Mary’s insecurities later in life.

Unlike most men of his era, Robert Todd believed that women should be well educated. At the age of eight, Mary began her formal education at Shelby Female Academy, where she studied grammar, geography, arithmetic, poetry, and literature. While Mary was trained in the social graces common to her class and time, the level of education she received was unusual.

At age 14, Mary entered Madame Victorie Mentelle’s Select Academy for young ladies, just outside Lexington. There she learned to write and speak French fluently, studied dance, drama, and music. In 1837, she began attending Dr. Ward’s Academy for advanced studies.

In 1839, after completing her education, Mary moved to Springfield, the new state capital of Illinois, to live with her older sister Elizabeth, who was married to Ninian Edwards, the son of a former governor of Illinois. At the age of 20, Mary was 5 feet 2 inches tall, with blue eyes and reddish-brown hair. The Edwardses were socially prominent, and Mary soon became a popular belle.

At a dance in Springfield, Mary met Abraham Lincoln, a junior partner in cousin John Todd Stuart’s law firm, who was ten years her senior. They fell in love and were engaged at the end of the following year.

Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln were a study in contrasts. Nine years older, Lincoln came from a comparatively poor and undistinguished background. He was socially awkward, with less than two years of formal education. Mary’s vivacity and occasional flashes of the “Todd temper” was in marked contrast to his self-deprecating personality. Yet many things brought them together: a love of poetry, literature, and a keen interest in politics and political issues. Mary recognized Lincoln’s intellectual depth and political ambition before others did.

Image: Mary Todd Lincoln House

A fourteen-room Georgian mansion in Lexington, Kentucky, the Mary Todd Lincoln House has the distinction of being the first historic site restored in honor of a First Lady. Mary moved here with her family in 1832 when she was 14 years old. For four years, she attended boarding school during the week but returned home on the weekends. She continued to live there until 1839, when she moved to Springfield, Illinois.

Elizabeth and Ninian Edwards did not approve of the relationship. They believed Lincoln was far beneath Mary. In January 1841, perhaps with his poor background and debt in mind, Abraham asked Mary to release him from the engagement. After much depression, a friend arranged for them to get together again. After another year of clandestine meetings and secret preparations, on November 4, 1842, Mary informed the Edwardses that they were getting married that day. Elizabeth realized it was inevitable.

Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln in the the front parlor of the Edwards home on the evening of November 4, 1842. Inside the ring Lincoln gave to Mary was the inscription: “Love Is Eternal.” He was 33 years old she was 23. With Abraham earning a modest income, for the first two years of their marriage, they lived in an $8-a-week room at the Globe Tavern in Springfield.

Their four sons were all born in Springfield:
Robert Todd Lincoln (1843–1926), a lawyer, diplomat, and businessman.
Edward Baker Lincoln, known as Eddie (1846–1850)
William Wallace Lincoln, known as Willie (1850–1862), died while Lincoln was President.
Thomas Lincoln, known as Tad (1853–1871), died six years after his father’s assassination.

In 1844, the Lincolns purchased their first and only home at Eighth and Jackson Streets in Springfield. Their home together from 1844 until 1861 still stands in Springfield, and is now the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

In marrying Lincoln, Mary exchanged her life of relative ease and privilege for that of a working lawyer’s wife. While he was gone for extended periods riding circuit, she was doing much of the household labor and raising four sons. But Mary continued to advance her husband’s political career. He valued her judgment and once observed that he had no reason to read a book after Mary had reviewed it for him.

Still, Lincoln’s career progressed slowly. One term in Congress came amidst several failures to gain his party’s nomination for political office. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846 and the family moved to Washington, DC, living first at Brown’s Hotel, then in Ann Sprigg’s boarding house (now the site of the Library of Congress). Before his term ended, Mary returned to Kentucky with the boys in 1848.

In 1849 Lincoln’s term ended and he returned to Springfield. Soon, the first of Mary’s tragedies occurred when her father died of cholera in July 1849. Less than a year later, in February 1850, Eddie Lincoln died of diphtheria. He was not yet four years old. Afterwards, Mary could not speak his name without crying.

Image: Abraham Lincoln in 1857
Alexander Hesler, Photographer

Mary took an active role in promoting Lincoln’s political career. When he was offered the governorship of the Oregon territory, she advised against his accepting the post since it would remove him from the national stage in the East. She often wrote to influential friends in Kentucky regarding Lincoln’s views on slavery. As the division between the northern and southern sections of the country widened, Lincoln’s speeches on limiting the spread of slavery, while preserving the Union, were much admired.

Mary’s vigorous defense and support of Lincoln’s presidential candidacy in 1860 her willingness to speak with reporters who came to Springfield to cover his campaign, and during the transition period between election and inauguration, prove her eagerness to assume a prominent public role in her husband’s presidency.

Due to the sectional strife and imminent secession of South Carolina, however, Lincoln’s 1861 inaugural was overshadowed by threats on his life. Many of the wealthy southern families who had dominated the social-political life of the national capital were leaving and those remaining social leaders, including the outgoing First Lady Harriet Lane, had pre-judged the western Mrs. Lincoln as unsuited to assume a social leadership role.

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln was thrilled to become First Lady, at the age of 42. She held elegant buffet dinners, invited intellectuals and literary figures to the White House, and welcomed visitors and guests to her Thursday night receptions and spring and winter receptions. She balanced her social role with an interest in public affairs, reading political journals and newspapers, attending congressional debates, and advising her husband on administration appointments. But even as the public began to regard her as First Lady, she referred to herself as Mrs. President.

Media accounts described the new First Lady as plump and plain, and she took such reports as an insult, not just to her but to her husband. Everything she wore was scrutinized and critiqued in the newspapers, convincing her more and more that she needed to wear the very finest fashions. She spent more on clothes than her husband could afford, but her spending only added to the public ridicule. She was the first presidential wife to be called First Lady in the press, as documented in both the London Times and Sacramento Union newspapers.

Mary spoke her mind on political matters – sometimes in French – and in a time when women were supposed to be demure and soft-spoken, she came across too forcefully.

Mary Lincoln viewed her expensive 1861 White House redecoration (over-running a Federal appropriation of $20,000) as a necessary effort to create an image of the stability that would command respect not only for the President, but for the Union. She instead conveyed the image of a selfish and indulgent woman, inconsiderate of the suffering the nation’s families were enduring as a result of the war her husband was managing.

Image: Mary Todd Lincoln during the Civil War

During her tenure at the White House, Mary often visited hospitals around Washington, where she gave flowers and fruit to wounded soldiers. In some cases, she helped with their correspondence. From time to time, she accompanied Lincoln on military visits to the field. Mary offered intelligence she had learned as well as her own advice to the President on military personnel, recommended minor military appointments to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, toured Union Army camps and reviewed troops with her husband.

She was largely successful in her objective of using entertaining as a means of raising Union morale. She was not successful in her efforts to oust Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase, Secretary of State William Seward, General George B. McClellan and General Ulysses S. Grant.

Two public causes in which Mary Lincoln became involved attested to her genuine support of the Union Army and the freedom of slaves: the Sanitary Commission fairs, which raised private donations to supplement Federal funds for supplies for the soldiers fighting on the front, and the Contraband Relief Association. The latter raised private donations, for the housing, employment, clothing and medical care of recently freed slaves, an organization in which she became involved as a result of her friendship with her dressmaker, former slave Elizabeth Keckley.

Tragedy and Loss
Mary Todd Lincoln’s life in the White House was marked by controversy and tragedy. As a well-bred woman of Kentucky, she was reviled by Southerners as a turncoat, while Northerners doubted her loyalty. Several of her siblings supported the Confederacy through marriage or military service. Not surprisingly, the divided loyalties within the Todd family fueled much controversy in the nation’s press.

Mary’s brother George R.C. Todd and her half-brothers Alexander Todd, David Todd, and Samuel Todd all fought in the Confederate Army. Two of her stepbrothers were killed in battle: Alexander at Baton Rouge Samuel at the Battle of Shiloh. Of one of her stepbrothers, she said, “He made his choice long ago. 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.”

Yet when her brother-in-law Brigadier General Benjamin Hardin Helm was killed fighting for the Confederacy in the Battle of Chickamauga, the Lincolns took in his widow, her stepsister Emilie Todd Helm, to live with them in the White House.

Mary Todd Lincoln suffered greatly in the White House. The pressures and anxieties of the war were unrelenting, and she watched her husband age visibly under the strain. In early 1862, when she lost eleven-year-old son Willie to typhoid fever, Mary was prostrate with grief. Mary sought out mediums and spiritualists to contact the dead boy, but they only bilked her out of another small fortune the Lincolns could not afford.

Mary Todd Lincoln suffered from frequent severe headaches throughout her adult life, and difficult bouts of depression, anxiety and paranoia. In a July 1863 accident, she was seriously injured when she was thrown from her carriage, knocked unconscious, and received a deep gash on her forehead. Even as she recovered from the carriage wreck, her other ailments became nearly as well-known as her name.

Mary also made irrational outbursts during Lincoln’s presidency. For example, after an uncomfortable carriage ride to review the troops at City Point, Virginia, during which she was accompanied by Julia Dent Grant (whom Mary did not like), wife of General Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Lincoln unleashed her pent-up fury on her husband when he rode on horseback alongside the lovely wife of a general.

Such scenes were not infrequent in Mary Lincoln’s life, and Abraham Lincoln’s secretaries nicknamed her the Hellcat. Even in childhood, friends had observed that she was either “in the garret or in the cellar,” emotionally. Such patterns indicate that Mary Lincoln may have suffered from bipolar disorder. Her mental illness worsened after her husband’s assassination, when she disintegrated into inconsolable, pathological grief and went on manic shopping sprees, which partially accounts for her unpopularity with many people.

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, and the war was officially over. Mary Lincoln hoped to renew her happiness as the First Lady of a nation at peace. However, on April 14, 1865, President and Mrs. Lincoln went to watch the comic play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater. As they sat in theater box, her hand in his, John Wilkes Booth shot the president in the head at near point blank range. Mary accompanied her husband across the street to the Petersen House, where Lincoln’s Cabinet was summoned. Mary was with her husband through the night along with her son Robert. Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22 the following morning.

Image: Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinois
Bettina Woolbright, Artist

This Greek Revival style house at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets in Springfield, Illinois, was home to the Lincoln family from 1844 to 1861. The initial structure was built in 1839 as a five-room cottage. Mary was largely responsible for expanding the house to the size depicted here to better accommodate her growing family. The house, purchased by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, was the first and only home Lincoln ever owned.

From all over the world, Mary Lincoln received messages of condolence. In time she would attempt to answer many of them personally. Even in her misery, her sense of duty and politeness remained. 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 Prince Albert.

Deeply traumatized by her husband’s murder, Mary Lincoln remained mostly bedridden in the White House for the next five weeks. She did not attend any of the president’s funerals, either in Washington, along the route of the funeral train, or the final one on May 4, 1865, in Springfield. Finally on May 23, Mary walked down the White House stairs for the last time, accompanied by her two sons and Elizabeth Keckley.

The former First Lady returned to Illinois and there began the effort to settle her husband’s estate. For a time, she lived in Chicago with her remaining sons, Robert and Tad. Embroiled in controversy over her finances and allegations of insanity, Mary wrote impassioned letters to friends and acquaintances, begging for money to pay her debts. She tried to sell the clothes she had worn while First Lady, and continued buying fancy jewelry clothing, though for years she never wore anything but black in public.

After Robert Lincoln married in September 1868, Mary and Tad moved to Germany, and from there began her battle with Congress about her presidential widow’s pension.

Also in 1868, her former dressmaker and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, published Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House. Although this book has, over time, proven to be an extremely valuable resource in the understanding and appreciation of Mary Todd Lincoln, the former First Lady regarded it as the breach of a close friendship.

In an act approved July 14, 1870, the United States Congress granted Mary Tod Lincoln a life pension as a president’s widow, in the amount of $3000 a year. She had lobbied hard for this pension, writing numerous letters to Congress and relying on patrons such as Simon Cameron to work on her behalf. Almost crazed on the subject of money, she insisted that as the wife of the leading figure in the land, she deserved a pension just as much as the widows of soldiers.

In 1871, Mary returned to the United States. Eighteen-year-old Tad caught a cold on the trip back and never fully recovered from a respiratory infection. On July 15, 1871, he died of pneumonia and pleurisy in Chicago. Mary had now lost her mother, father, husband, three half-brothers and three sons. “One by one,” she said, “I have consigned to their resting place my idolized ones, and now, in this world there is nothing left for me but the deepest anguish and desolation.”

Mental Instability
After Tad’s sudden death, Mary’s mental health deteriorated rapidly. Increasingly dependent on medications such as laudanum and chloral hydrate for a variety of physical and emotional ailments, she had delusions, hallucinations and irrational fears of people trying to kill her. Her only living son, Robert, on his way to becoming a prominent attorney, became concerned for her health and safety.

Robert arranged an insanity trial after agonizing over his distressed mother’s erratic behavior. Illinois law required a jury trial for involuntary commitment to a mental institution. In a June 1, 1875, letter to Mary’s friend Sally Orne, Robert explained his difficult decision. “Six physicians in council informed me that by longer delay I was making myself morally responsible for some very probable tragedy, which might occur at any moment.”

Mary did not realize that a public trial awaited her, and was forcibly taken to the courthouse on May 19, 1875. Isaac Arnold, a family friend who reluctantly became her defense attorney, did not contest the case, and allowed 17 witnesses to testify to her unstable condition, while not calling any witnesses of his own. During the trial, Robert testified, “I have no doubt my mother is insane. She has long been a source of great anxiety to me.”

On May 20, 1875, Mary Todd Lincoln was declared insane at the age of 56, and confined to Bellevue Place, a private sanitarium in Batavia, Illinois. This news shocked the nation. The trial’s verdict required Mary to be committed, but allowed her to stay in a private hospital such as Bellevue if finances allowed it. She also could have stayed in Robert’s home, but her tumultuous presence there four years earlier had caused Robert’s wife to leave temporarily.

Dr. Norbert Hirschhorn and Dr. Robert G. Feldman maintain that, “Symptoms imputed as insanity at her trial clearly had their origin in the organic disease of tabes dorsalis. The bizarre behavior in 1875 leading to hospitalization, with elements of acute anxiety, insomnia and delusions, most resembles post-traumatic stress disorder, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of her husband’s murder.”

Later in the day after the verdict was announced, Mary was so enraged that she attempted suicide. She went to the hotel pharmacist and ordered enough laudanum to kill herself. However, the pharmacist was suspicious and gave her a placebo.

With control of his mother’s finances, Robert Lincoln tried to pay down his mother’s debts, and returned much of the jewelry she had purchased but never paid for.

Meanwhile, Mary smuggled letters to her lawyer, James Bradwell, and his wife, Myra Bradwell, who was not only her friend but also a feminist lawyer and fellow spiritualist. Bradwell believed Mrs. Lincoln was not insane, and filed an appeal on Mary’s behalf.

Mary wrote to the editor of the Chicago Times, known for its sensational journalism. Soon, the public embarrassments Robert had hoped to avoid were looming, and his character and motives were in question. The director of Bellevue, who at Mary’s trial had assured the jury she would benefit from treatment at his facility, now in the face of potentially damaging publicity, declared her well enough to leave.

The former First Lady left Bellevue Place on September 11, 1875, and was released to the care of her sister Elizabeth in Springfield, to live in the same house where she had married Abraham Lincoln. On June 19, 1876, another court ruled that Mary had regained her sanity, and and was competent to manage her own affairs.

Mary traveled to Europe again, staying primarily in France at health spas. The former First Lady’s final years were marked by declining health, possibly with undiagnosed diabetes, spinal arthritis and other ailments. She suffered from severe cataracts that affected her eyesight, which may have contributed to her increasing susceptibility to falls. In 1879, she suffered spinal cord injuries in a fall from a step ladder.

After four years abroad, Mary returned the United States to live again in the Edwards home in October 1880. She spent much of her last year in seclusion there. The following year, Robert visited with his eldest daughter, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Mary and Robert reconciled somewhat. Mary’s pension was increased to $5000 in 1882.

Mary Todd Lincoln died on July 16, 1882, at the age of 63, possibly after having a stroke, although the doctor wrote “paralysis” on the death certificate. She was buried next to her husband and three sons at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. She was buried with her wedding ring, thin from wear, which still bore the words “Love Is Eternal.”

Dedicated in 1874, the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois, is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their four sons, Edward, William, and Thomas. The eldest son, Robert Lincoln, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The 117-foot Tomb, designed by sculptor Larkin Mead, is constructed of brick sheathed with Quincy granite. Interior rooms of the Tomb are finished in a highly polished marble trimmed with bronze.


Mary Todd Lincoln

Today it is a pleasure to welcome Author Susan Higginbotham to History … the Interesting Bits with a wonderful article about the correspondence between Mary Lincoln and Queen Victoria.

The First Lady and the Queen

Mary Lincoln in widow’s weeds

Of the black-draped widows of the nineteenth century, surely two of the best known are Queen Victoria, who gave her name to the age, and Mary Lincoln, wife to the martyred American President. Bereaved just a few years apart, they would spend the rest of their lives in mourning.

Queen Victoria’s consort, Albert, died on December 14, 1861, at Windsor Palace. In due time, a formal letter of condolence arrived from the United States, signed by Abraham Lincoln, assuring the queen, “The American People . . . deplore his death and sympathize in Your Majesty’s irreparable bereavement with an unaffected sorrow. This condolence may not be altogether ineffectual, since we are sure it emanates from only virtuous motives and natural affection. I do not dwell upon it, however, because I know that the Divine hand that has wounded, is the only one that can heal.”

Mary Lincoln acknowledged the royal loss in her own way. On February 5, 1862, the Lincolns, at Mary’s suggestion, held a magnificent reception at the White House. The New York Herald reported the next day, “Mrs. Lincoln received the company with gracious courtesy. She was dressed in a magnificent white satin robe, with a black flounce half a yard wide, looped with black and white bows, a low corsage trimmed with black lace, and a bouquet of crepe myrtle on her bosom. Her head-dress was a wreath of black and white flowers, with a bunch of crepe myrtle on the right side. The only ornaments were a necklace, earrings, brooch and bracelets, of pearl. The dress was simple and elegant. The half mourning style was assumed in respect to Queen Victoria . . . whose representative was one of the most distinguished among the guests on this occasion.”

Not all of the press shared the Herald‘s enthusiasm. The country had settled into what would prove to be years of civil war, and the extravagant reception struck some as being in poor taste. The Pittsburgh Gazette of February 8, 1862, titling its short piece “Our Court Gone Into Mourning!” quoted the excerpt above, and then commented succinctly, “Don’t larf.”

Sadly, Mary would soon be wearing full mourning, and not as a courtesy for a distant queen. Her son Willie had fallen ill, and Mary had spent much of the reception going to and from his bedside. Though the prognosis initially appeared hopeful, Willie’s condition soon deteriorated, and he died on February 20, 1862. Mary could not bear to attend his funeral.

Unlike Queen Victoria, who put her entire court into mourning for Albert, Mary had only herself to attend to. (Unlike women, who when grieving for their closest relatives were expected to muffle themselves in deep, lusterless black if their means permitted it, men could get by simply with a black band around a sleeve or a hat–or with no mourning apparel at all.) Still, there was a fashion aspect to mourning, to which entire establishments catered, and Mary did not permit her terrible grief to prevent her from giving precise instructions to Ruth Harris, the hapless milliner who had the task of putting together a bonnet. “I want a very very fine black straw for myself–trimmed with folds of jet fine blk crape,” she instructed on May 17, 1862. Alas, the bonnet did not quite suit, so later that month, Mary explained, “I wished a much finer blk straw bonnet for mourning–without the gloss.”

By April 1865, however, Mary was wearing garments in an array of colors and looking forward to a brighter future. The war was all but won, and although President Lincoln had just begun his second term of office, he was looking forward to doing some traveling once he returned to private life. He hoped to visit Europe, as did Mary.

Abraham Lincoln, of course, never realized this dream, but was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, and died the next morning.

First page of the letter from Queen Victoria to Mary Lincoln

Several weeks later, Mary, who remained at the White House for over a month after her husband’s death, received the following black-bordered letter:

Though a stranger to you I cannot remain silent when so terrible a calamity has fallen upon you & your country, & must personally express my deep & amp heartfelt sympathy with you under the shocking circumstances of your present dreadful misfortune.

No one can better appreciate than Saya can, who am myself utterly broken-hearted by the loss of my own beloved Husband, who was the Light of my Life, — my Stay — my All, — what your own sufferings must be and I earnestly pray that you may be supported by Him to whom alone the sorely stricken can look for comfort, in this hour of heavy affliction.


Born in to a wealthy, political family on December 13, 1818, Mary Todd Lincoln was sophisticated, educated, and versed in politics. On the surface, her success in the White House seemed assured. Yet, few women in American history have endured as much tragedy and controversy.

Mary was the daughter of a prominent Lexington native Robert Smith Todd and his first wife Eliza Parker, who died when Mary was six years old. Mary was the fourth of the eventual sixteen children born in her father’s two marriages. A businessman and politician, Robert provided his children with social standing, education, and material advantages that Mary's future husband, Abraham Lincoln, lacked in his own youth.

Lexington, known as the “Athens of the West” at the time, had numerous educational opportunities for affluent citizens, and Mary completed her extensive education under the tutelage of French immigrant Charlotte Mentelle. At the Todd's large home, maintained by enslaved men and women, Mary mingled with influential political guests. The most prominent of these was three-time presidential candidate Senator Henry Clay, who lived less than two miles away.

A mutual interest in politics was one of the things that drew Mary to attorney Abraham Lincoln, whom she met while visiting an older sister in Springfield, Illinois. Mary exchanged her life of relative ease and privilege for that of a middle-class wife when she married Lincoln in 1842.

Mary’s primary roles from 1842-1860 were wife, household manager, and mother to four sons. Additionally, she actively supported Abraham Lincoln’s political career, offering advice and hosting events. When Lincoln learned that he had had won the presidential election of 1860, he reportedly ran home yelling "Mary, Mary, we are elected."

She took on the role of first lady-from hosting balls to visiting troops-with enthusiasm. However, controversy and tragedy marked Mary Todd Lincoln’s life in the White House. Some mistakenly viewed her as a rustic from the “West." Others questioned her loyalties because of her family connections. While six Todd siblings supported the Union, eight Todd siblings supported the Confederacy through marriage or military service. Not surprisingly, divided loyalties in the Todd family fueled much controversy in the nation’s press.

The White House years were difficult for Mary Lincoln. The pressures and anxieties of the Civil War were unrelenting. Mary watched her husband age under the strain. In early 1862, when their eleven-year-old son Willie died from typhoid fever, Mary was grief-stricken. He was the second of three Lincoln children who would die before adulthood. The heaviest blow fell on April 14, 1865, with Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Mary survived her husband by seventeen years. During these years, she traveled internationally, fought for a widow’s pension, explored the practice of spiritualism, and continued to raise her youngest son Tad. Sadly, Tad died shortly after his eighteenth birthday in 1871. Four years later, at the instigation of her only surviving child Robert, Mary was confined against her will for several months at an asylum in Batavia, Illinois. Mary Lincoln’s mental health continues to be debated by historians and is frequently the subject of pop culture references to the former first lady.

Mary Lincoln lived independently in Europe for several years following her controversial institutionalization. Illness forced her to return to the United States, where she died July 1882 in the home of her sister Elizabeth, in which she married Lincoln almost forty years before. Her remains are entombed, along with her husband’s, in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.


Mary Lincoln

As a girlhood companion remembered her, Mary Todd was vivacious and impulsive, with an interesting personality—but “she now and then could not restrain a witty, sarcastic speech that cut deeper than she intended . . . " A young lawyer summed her up in 1840: “the very creature of excitement.” All of these attributes marked her life, bringing her both happiness and tragedy.

She was born on December 13, 1818, to Eliza Parker and Robert Smith Todd, pioneer settlers of Kentucky. Mary lost her mother before the age of seven. Her father remarried and Mary remembered her childhood as “desolate” although she belonged to the aristocracy of Lexington, with high-spirited social life and a sound private education.

When she was nearly 21, she went to Springfield, Illinois, to live with her sister Elizabeth Todd Edwards. Here she met Abraham Lincoln—in his own words, “a poor nobody then.” Three years later, after a stormy courtship and broken engagement, they were married. Though opposites in background and temperament, they were united by an enduring love and Mary’s confidence in her husband’s ability and his gentle consideration of her excitable ways.

Their years in Springfield brought hard work, a family of boys, and reduced circumstances to the pleasure-loving girl who had never felt responsibility before. Lincoln’s single term in Congress (1847–49), gave Mary and the boys a winter in Washington, but scant opportunity for social life. Finally, her unwavering faith in her husband won ample justification with his election as president in 1860.

Though her position fulfilled her high social ambitions, Mrs. Lincoln’s years in the White House mingled misery with triumph. She spent exorbitant amounts money on dresses and furnishings, stirring resentful comment from a nation at war. While the Civil War dragged on, Southerners scorned her as a traitor to her birth, and citizens loyal to the Union suspected her of treason. When she entertained, critics accused her of unpatriotic extravagance. When, utterly distraught, she curtailed her entertaining after her son Willie’s death in 1862, they accused her of shirking her social duties. Yet Lincoln, watching her put her guests at ease during a White House reception, appreciated her fulfillment of White House duties.

Her husband’s assassination in 1865 shattered Mary Todd Lincoln. The next 17 years held nothing but sorrow. With her son “Tad” she traveled abroad in search of health, tortured by distorted ideas of her financial situation while critics skewered her in the press. After Tad died in 1871, she slipped into a world of illusion where poverty and murder pursued her.

A misunderstood and tragic figure, she passed away on July 16, 1882 at her sister’s home in Springfield—the same house from which she had walked as the bride of Abraham Lincoln, 40 years before.


Tonton videonya: MARY LINCOLN CELEBRATES HER WA NJOROGE MESSAGE TO HER (Januari 2022).