Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. She was also the First Lady of the United States, from 1861 to 1865. She was well educated and belongs to a wealthy family in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.

Personal Details of Mary Todd Lincoln:

Born                             : Mary Ann Todd, December 13, in the year 1818, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S

Died                             : July 16, 1882 (aged 63) spring field, Illinois, U.S

Cause of Death          : Stroke

Spouse Name            : Abraham Lincoln

Children’s                  : Robert, Edwin, Willie and Todd

Parents                      : Robert Smith Todd

                                      Elizabeth Ann Parker Todd

Childhood and Education:

Mary Ann Todd was born in Lexington, Kentucky on December 13, in the year 1818. She was born as the fourth of seven children of Robert Smith Todd, a banker, and Elizabeth “Eliza” (Parker) Todd. She was a member of a large, wealthy slave-owning family of Kentucky. Mary was raised in comfort and refinement. When Mary was six, her mother died in a child’s birth, after two years later, her father married “Elizabeth Betsy” and they had nine children together. Mary had a difficult relationship with her stepmother.

From 1832, Mary and her family lived in Mary Todd Lincoln House, an elegant 14 rooms residence at 578 West Main street, Lexington, Kentucky.

Mary was sent to Madame Mentelle’s finishing school in her early ages there the curriculum was 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, socializing, and interested in politics. Mary didn’t have a smooth relationship with her stepmother so she decided to go to her married sister Elizabeth.

Mary began living with her sister Elizabeth porter Edwards in spring field, Illinois, in October 1839, Elizabeth married W Edwards, son of a former governor. He served as Mary’s guardian. Mary was popular among the gentry of spring field and though was courted by the rising young lawyer and Democratic Party politician Stephen A . Douglas and others, she chose Abraham Lincoln a fellow Whig.

Marriage & Family

Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln on November 4, 1842, at her sister Elizabeth’s home in spring field Illinois. She was 23 years old and Abraham was 33 years old. They had four sons, all born in spring fields. Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Baker Lincoln, William Wallace Lincoln, and Thomas Lincoln, Robert and Tadd survived to adulthood till the death of their father and only Robert lived till his mother’s life.

Mary Todd Career and Home life:

Abraham Lincoln was practicing as a successful lawyer in the spring field and Mary was busy maintaining the household. The house they resided in from the year 1844 to 1861, still stands in spring field and has been designated the Lincoln Home historic site. During Lincoln’s years as an Illinois lawyer, Mary was often left alone for months and she concentrated in raising the children and taking care of the household. Mary supported her husband both socially and politically and stood very supportive by the side of her husband Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election held in 1860.

Responsibilities As First Lady of the United States

Mary worked hard to serve as her husband’s first lady in Washington D.C, a political center dominated by Eastern culture, Lincoln was regarded as the first western President and critics described Mary’s manners as coarse and pretentious. She had difficulty negotiating white house social responsibilities and rivalries, spoils-seeking solicitors, and baiting newspapers in a climate of high national intrigue in civil war Washington. 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. She has often been blamed by historians for spending too much money on the white house.

During her white house years, Mary often visited hospitals around Washington to give flowers and fruits to wounded soldiers. She took the time to write letters for them to send to their loved ones. From time to time Mary accompanied Lincoln on military visits to the fields.

Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

After the end of the civil war, President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln attended a comic play “American Cousins” at Ford’s Theatre in the evening on April 14, 1865. During the third act the president and Mrs. Lincoln sitting closer holding hands and enjoying the play, Mary whispered to her husband “what will Miss. Harris think of my hanging on to you so?” The president smiled and replied, ‘she won’t think anything about it.’ That was the last conversation the Lincolns ever had. Five minutes later president Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at the back of his head, President Lincoln went to Comma and died on the following day.

Mary Todd Lincoln’s Death

Mary Lincoln lived 17 years after her husband’s death. She celebrated the marriage of one son and the death of another son. In 1870, congress approved an annual pension of $3000 to her. She stayed with her sister Elizabeth in spring field and on July 15, 1882, Tadd’s death anniversary Mary collapsed and slipped to a comma. She died the next day  

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