Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: Fact Sheet of Mary Todd Lincoln
Facts and Info: This fast fact sheet provides important information about Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States of America.
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: Fast Overview of Events in the White House
Facts and Info: Mary Todd Lincoln assumed the position of First Lady to President Abraham Lincoln. She witnessed the important events of his presidency that included leading the Union into the Civil War to preserve the nation and end slavery. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth five days after the Confederate armies surrendered on April 15, 1865.
Personality and Character: Mary Todd Lincoln Quotes
Facts and Info: An insight into the personal views, character and personality of this First Lady may be obtained from the following Mary Todd Lincoln quotes:
"I seem to be the scape-goat for both North and South."
"...I must dress in costly materials. The people scrutinize every article that I wear with critical curiosity."
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Nickname or Pet Name "Mollie"
Facts and Info: This First Lady was named as Mary Ann Todd but called by the pet name "Mollie" by her family and husband.
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: First Events
Facts and Info: She was one of the four first ladies to lose their husbands in presidential assassinations. The other first ladies were Lucretia Garfield, Ida McKinley and Jackie Kennedy. Mary Todd Lincoln was the first presidential wife to be called "First Lady" in newspapers such as the Times in London.
Facts about the Causes and Accomplishments of Mary Todd Lincoln
Facts and Info: First Ladies are not elected so have no official role. Their accomplishments are therefore based on their own particular wishes that ranged from political interests, humanitarian and charitable causes or duties relating to their family or social responsibilities. The causes of Mary Todd Lincoln were focused on emancipation and her strong hatred of slavery. Mary Todd Lincoln was a supporter of the Freedman's Bureau, an organization which helped find housing, education and employment for freed African-American slaves. The accomplishments of Mary Todd Lincoln were demonstrated in her support of Civil War soldiers who had been wounded during the war.
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: The Early Life of Mary Todd Lincoln
Facts and Info: Mary Ann Todd was born on December 13, 1818 in Lexington, Kentucky. She enjoyed a privileged upbringing and education in a wealthy, aristocratic family and learned her social skills in the home of her strict and particular stepmother Elizabeth Humphreys, who raised her. She was intelligent, witty and her impulsive nature made her exciting to be with. When she was 21 Mary moved to be near her sister Elizabeth in Springfield, Illinois. It was here that Mary met Abraham Lincoln. They were like 'chalk and cheese' and had a stormy relationship, a broken engagement but the couple eventually ended up together. The couple came from totally different social backgrounds, she from the cream of society of Lexington and Abraham from the 'wrong side of the tracks'. They also had completely different personalities. Mary was volatile, happy, pleasure seeking and excitable, whereas Abraham was relatively dull, calm and steady. Abraham was a lawyer with the ambition to enter into politics. Mary supported his ambitions and both shared a hatred of slavery. Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln on November 4, 1842, and 9 months later, their first son was born. The couple were to have 4 sons, but only two survived into adulthood. The genteel and polished Mary Todd Lincoln guided Abraham in the social requirements and behaviour required when mixing with those of wealthy, high society.
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: The Children of Mary and Abraham Lincoln
Their first son was Robert Todd Lincoln (1843 1926) who survived his three younger brothers and ended up having her briefly committed to an asylum. Their second son was Edward Baker Lincoln (1846 1850). He was known as Eddie only lived to be 3 years and ten months old and died from pulmonary tuberculosis following a long illness on February 1, 1850. William Wallace Lincoln (1850 1862) was their third son. Willie tragically died in the White House of typhoid fever on February 20, 1862, at the age of 11. Their fourth son was Thomas Tad Lincoln (1853 1871). Tad died of tuberculosis on July 15, 1871, at the age of 18.
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: The Later Life of Mary Todd Lincoln and the White House
Facts and Info: Mary Todd Lincoln firmly supported her husband in his political aspirations. He was elected President of the United States and Mary assumed the position of First Lady on March 4, 1861. Her closest confidante in the White House was her seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who had bought her own freedom. Mary Todd Lincoln was never a popular first lady, in fact she is probably the most criticized of all the women have have held this position. Mary was volatile, outspoken and emotional. She was criticized for failing to keep her unruly sons in check. She was criticized for being extravagant. There were even some who spread rumors that she was a Confederate spy as she had been raised in a prominent slaveholding family. She lost her young, beloved son Willie who died tragically in the White House at the age of just eleven years old. She then witnessed the murder of her husband Abraham Lincoln, assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington and his resultant death on April 15, 1865, the morning after being shot. She was deeply traumatized by the murder of her husband which she had witnessed, so soon after the death of her son. She returned to Illinois and a funeral train took the remains of her young son and the body of her husband to be buried together.
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln: Insanity
Facts and Info: There is much debate surrounding the view that Mary Todd Lincoln suffered from insanity. It was true that Mary had a highly volatile personality and was outspoken and direct in her views. Marys cousin wrote that, as a child, Mary was "very highly strung... having an emotional temperament much like an April day, sunning all over with laughter one moment, the next crying as though her heart would break". Mary Todd Lincoln suffered from severe migraines throughout her life. The grief she experienced due to the loss of her sons took their toll on her mental well being and the series of personal tragedies, including the terrible shock caused by the assassination of her husband, resulted in Mary behaving erratically and exhibiting uncontrollable temper tantrums in her later years. On July 2, 1863 Mary Todd Lincoln was also involved in a carriage accident and sustained head injuries. She became paranoid that her husband would be assassinated - but Lincoln's 1861 inaugural had been overshadowed by threats on his life. Mary Todd Lincoln suffered from extreme mood swings, anxiety and depression - but consideration must be given to the personal tragedies she had endured and the devastating events of the Civil War. Mary Todd Lincoln was also an adherent of spiritualism, believing the living could be in contact with the dead - a concept that was disliked by many, some believing that it demonstrated her insanity. Following the death of Abraham Lincoln, Mary moved to Germany with her son Tad where she battled with Congress for a pension as the widow of the president. She won her case and her pension and returned to the US in 1871. Her son Tad died on July 15, 1871, at the age of 18, about 6 years after the assassination of his father. Mary Todd Lincoln was, not surprisingly, inconsolable. Her behaviour and mood swings became increasingly erratic and her only surviving son, Robert Lincoln, believed his mother was insane. Robert Todd Lincoln reluctantly arranged for an insanity trial. Under Illinois law a jury trial was required before involuntary commitment to a mental institution could be made. On May 19, 1875 a Chicago court declared 56-year-old Mary Todd Lincoln insane and committed her to Bellevue Place, a private mental institution in the Fox River Valley. Mary Todd Lincoln fought for her release. Just under four months after Mary Todd Lincoln was committed, she was released from Bellevue on September 10, 1875 into the care of her sister, Elizabeth. On June 15, 1876, Mary Todd Lincoln was officially declared sane in a Chicago court. Mary Todd Lincoln never forgave her son Robert Lincoln for his betrayal. Mary Todd Lincoln died on July 16, 1882 at her sister's home in Illinois at the age of 63.