Did you know that Mary Todd Lincoln was born today in 1818? She was the wife of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The Civil War was a difficult time for Mary. Several of her half-brothers served in the Confederate Army and were killed in action. But, Mary was a steadfast supporter of her husband and his goal to preserve the Union and country. To help, Mary visited wounded soldiers in hospitals around Washington DC. She brought them flowers, fruit, and helped them write letters they could send to their families.
We hope that you have a dedicated day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s full name was Mary Ann, she stopped using the name ‘Ann’ when her younger sister, Ann Todd, was born.
She was born in Lexington, Kentucky and as a young adult moved to Springfield, Illinois to live with her sister.
Mary attended finishing school where she studied dance, drama, and music. She also learned how to speak French fluently.
Many of the homes Mary Todd Lincoln lived in still exist. You can visit the Mary Todd Lincoln house in Lexington, Kentucky; the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois; and the White House. She is buried in the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.
Mary was also courted by Stephen A. Douglas, one of Abraham Lincoln’s political opponents.
Mary’s years acting as the First Lady in Washington DC were difficult, but she worked hard to support her husband politically and socially. Although she had grown up in the more refined area of Lexington, Kentucky culture of Washington DC was very different, and many thought that Mary had coarse or rustic manners.
While Abraham Lincoln was President, Mary refurbished and redecorated the White House. Her husband, became very angry over the exorbitant costs; Congress eventually passed two additional appropriations to cover the costs.
Mary was with Abraham Lincoln when he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater. She was holding her husband’s hand when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth.
The book Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, written by Elizabeth Keckley, give insight into the life and character of Mary Todd Lincoln.
Historians have hypothesized that Mary suffered from bipolar disorder or perhaps pernicious anemia. Later in life, her son, Robert, committed her to a private asylum.