Mary Todd Lincoln, An Introduction By Her Family, With Their Love

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
linc home w boys crop.JPG

" Wherever that woman lives is my home " Abraham Lincoln, sourced through the only sister who did not fail Mary Todd Lincoln, Elizabeth. Mrs. Ninian Edward's granddaughter Mary Edward Brown remembers her grandmother and Aunt Mary.

More than one post-long, met sourced, lively and wonderful accounts by Mary Todd's never mentioned sister, Elizabeth. Well, mentioned as " Mrs. Ninian Edwards ", in whose home the Lincoln wedding occurred- but never as Mary Todd Lincoln's friend, support and the sister who remained quiet- and quietly loyal. To a sister. We should all be so lucky.
life edwards 1.JPG
life edwards 2 crop.jpg

Elizabeth Todd Edwards, " Mrs. Ninian Edwards ". Mary Edwards Brown grandmother. Elizabeth never swerved in her sister's loyalty, repaid her trust and never attempted a sale of relics or agenda or to profit from ' Lincoln '- she was just Mary's sister. The wedding cake she baked for the new couple was still warm when cut. Her wedding account, tomorrow.

Please post anti-Mary Todd Lincoln sentiment elsewhere or begin another thread. A long-dead widow whose husband was murdered in the service of this country while she wore her brains in her lap, buried 3 children, suffered from post concussion syndrome, was publically attacked by men too cowardly to attack her husband and who death has not rescued from ridicule for 150 years is at least safe here.

Lincoln and his surviving three sons are in this photograph, btw, post election, before leaving Springfield for the last time. Yes, three.
linc home boys close up.JPG

Look at the window- the pale shape is a half of a boy's face and white collar


linc home boy in window white.jpg

Could not figure out why the curtains were drawn back- there's a boy peering out! We'll never know why he did not join his brothers- sickness that day? Punishment? Still- the 3 Lincoln boys, wish we had one of Eddie but still, very cool.

" Wherever that woman lives is my home ", a quote remembered because we all have family stories. I love this, more proof the couple indeed were close. It's part of one story, very Lincoln, from Mary Edward Brown's collection.

Originally one story ( high ), the little home became too small for a growing family of boys. Mary- after all, a Todd, received her share of wealth from her father's estate in time to improve matters. While Lincoln was away on one of his route riding, lawyer tours, the construction took place, renovating their home and putting an entire 2nd floor onto the first. When Lincoln came home he walked all up and down their street calling to neighbors, that they should come help him find his wife and children- they were missing! Please, friends, when he left, his home, wife and family were there- now missing? Mary finally found this to be getting old and came to the door, telling her husband to stop it, please come in.

Well, you see her point. funny for awhile, Abe but she hadn't seen him for months, she'd had the whole house rebuilt- get IN here! This touching quote was as he spoke with friends, on his doorstep. Lovely man, funny, nice, family moment.

It was a happy home, a marriage two people determined to hold despite opposition and resulted in four children- only one destined to live into adulthood.

Mary Todd Lincoln, her husband's brains in her lap in Ford's Theatre had already lost two sons and would lose another, lost brothers, in laws and cousins in the war, had had her birthright erased, had Washington society slam its snooty doors in her face, was the helpless butt of a deliberate bullying campaign by a disgruntled ex-Lincoln partner too cowardly to attack her husband, was the victim of scams, was post-concussion from a horrific carriage accident in 1863 and the unwitting object of Stanton's jealousy.

Mary Edwards Brown unwittingly gives you chills, when speaking of momentos in her grandmother's home. You see, not only did this unfailingly loyal sibling host her sister's wedding- she cared for her in her last years.

Among momentos- posting tomorrow, Mary Lincoln's wonderful friend from happier days and neighbor's son Henry Rehmann, Jr. who would also lose his father. He would become Willie's buddy, while Willie was living in the White House. In this photo, he is wearing Eddie Lincoln's clothing. From a Life magazine spread, Mary Brown remembers her grandmother saying Mary Lincoln giving Eddie's clothing to her friend, Mary Rehmann- to take all of them, please.
life henry 1.JPG


Another momento, a very human, typically ' best friend ' relic, Mary Lincoln's present to her friend, Henry's mother. Pressed flowers, and an inscribed message.
life momentos 2 to mary from mary l.jpg

Young mothers and close friends together- the pressed flower book was a present from one to the other- and yes, photo is of Lincoln.

life momentos 3 mary lincoln hair.jpg

More tomorrow- Elizabeth's, and Mary's Springfield, unadulterated story is far too important to stuff into one, long post. Mary Lincoln's hair, snipped after she died. Her sister ' laid her out ', while our country barely noticed. She kept it, not because it was a President's wife, it was a curl from her sister's head.

No, not all her story is wonderful. Mary Todd Lincoln was crushed by the time she died, unhappy and longing for death. There's no attempt made to present her in a false light. She does, however, tell the truth.
 

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AnnaLee

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A long-dead widow whose husband was murdered in the service of this country while she wore her brains in her lap, buried 3 children, suffered from post concussion syndrome, was publically attacked by men too cowardly to attack her husband and who death has not rescued from ridicule for 150 years is at least safe here.
Thank You JPK Huson 1863 for this post. I have always felt sorry for Mary Todd Lincoln and felt she was treated shabbily, especially after her husband's death. A couple of years ago I read "Mary Todd Lincoln-A Biography" by Jean H. Baker which was overall a sad story. I think the quote: "Wherever that woman lives, is my home." by Abe says it all, they loved each other!!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#10
What a beautiful description of Mary Todd Lincoln and a wonderful glimpse into the life of the couple. You make me want to learn more. As well as the tragedies you listed I recall that she was later put into an asylum by her son Robert.

Yes, she was. There was a quite public ' trial ', incredibly humiliating which made the final split between them. This was an extremely isolated, frequently traumatized, hounded and vilified woman who had lost sons Eddie, Willie and Tad, husband ( murdered ), had had two sisters inexplicably and publicly stick shivs in her heart, had a stalker whose bile filled town halls and sold books, her closest friend published a book about her- and while a country mourned her husband, his wife had literally been in bed. Alone, ignored, permitted no place in our nation's long funeral- then kind shuffled out of the back door. Anyone see the widow anywhere in ' Lincoln Funeral ' photos, mentioned in oratory? Nope.

Paranoid? Who would not be. Hysterical? The favorite ' crazy ' monogram all disliked women function under? Robert handled it poorly and made matters worse. Mary was certainly lucid enough to disprove claims and manage her own release. She was also one of the only people close to Lincoln who did not write some memoir- for profit.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#11
I just love your posts...about anything!!! @JPK Huson 1863 ....WAYYYYY better than storytime in school :D...not to mention educational!!!

That is kind, thank you! Poor Mary Lincoln is just a kind of crusade. Most current dreck on her can be sourced back to a man named William Herndon, one of ( just one, although he'd have you think he was IT ) Lincoln's law partners. Never made the leap to Washington or genuine fame- inexplicably became Mary's enemy and self-appointed ' biographer ;. he wrote fictional accounts of everything from their wedding to their home life- none of which did he know, still sourced today. He toured the country, giving lectures allll about despicable Mary Lincoln. She was visiting wounded, secretly, since anything she did attracted negative attention.

It wasn't just him- as a Southern women and member of the ' aristocracy ', she was a prime target. Washington elite women made it clear she was not welcome, Southern elite, including 2 sisters, never forgave her for marrying the enemy-est enemy of them all- and she had no clue they'd turned against her.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#12
As a brief aside, the current issues of Civil War Times has an article about her sister, Elodie Todd, who married Confederate Captain Nathaniel Dawson.

Thank you! Love to read it! She genuinely was hit hard by the Confederate deaths in her family, how could she not be? All the names in what would be the Confederate government were just people her father knew and she grew up knowing. When she was still Southern, her wit was her evidence she was a Belle- in Washington, it made her a witch. She was a Belle, displaced- took a lot of hits for dressing like one and still does.

Guessing it's a good article. Caught a whiff that the Elodie and Martha, the 2 Todds living in Alabama, couldn't bring themselves to condemn Mary, or, while detesting Lincoln, condemn him as a gentleman married to a sister. Dawson, too, seems of the ilk holding family in such strong respect, it was a difficult topic. What an awful war for families.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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There are some momentos which make you catch your breath. Will describe the wedding in second- it includes this lamp. According to Mary Edwards Brown- who could have sold it along with her entire heritage ( and did not, or give endless interviews ), this lamp, fueled with whale oil, was lit for the vows between Abraham and Mary Todd. The same lamp saw Mary Todd Lincoln take her last breath.

life momentos 1 marys lamp.jpg
 

JPK Huson 1863

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The wedding has been attacked, defended, told and retold- the silly story whereby Lincoln spurned Mary is simply not true. More than one family source states this version- the versions told elsewhere have no eye witnesses.

The bar to the marriage, making sense, was Mary's deeply Southern, extremely aristocratic father. Mary Edwards Brown admits a family member seemed to recall Ninian Edwards, Mary's brother in law objected on the grounds Lincoln was not of the same class -something reinforced in a closer-to-the era, archived book.

Meeting one day, this couple made the decision to just do it. Elizabeth Edwards, pregnant with her 3rd child enlisted help from 2 other sisters, went into high gear and threw together The Wedding. Edward's granddaughter remembers her grandmother telling her how annoyed she was, having no notice except hours- and the wedding cake famously being warm when cut.
mary wedding.jpg


From one of the era books, or post era- a Hathi find. These family accounts match no matter how far apart the dates.

wed 5 one.jpg

wed 6 two.jpg



A borrowed dress-
wed 8 three.jpg



An awful lot of negative ' press ' occurred later , Mary being accused of some expensive, silly purchase. Two points- she could have afforded pretty much any dress or wedding she liked. She had no time to put together the ' wedding of her dreams '- or worry about details. They made what was probably a shocking, thrilling decision based on the discovery they did not care what anyone else thought. What a kick! What a great wedding!

wed 9 four.jpg



These photos? There's an alleged " Wedding Photo " making the rounds on Pinterest. It is a fake, please ignore- someone photo shopped two, era photos together.

marytoddlincoln.jpg

If you see this perfectly lovely image ( and she seems to be wearing mourning- a black cameo and black lace, perhaps for Eddie? ) next to a photo of her husband, please ignore.

Mary and Abe stories, from Springfield and the neighborhood, nest.
 

Mrs. V

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View attachment 168702
" Wherever that woman lives is my home " Abraham Lincoln, sourced through the only sister who did not fail Mary Todd Lincoln, Elizabeth. Mrs. Ninian Edward's granddaughter Mary Edward Brown remembers her grandmother and Aunt Mary.

More than one post-long, met sourced, lively and wonderful accounts by Mary Todd's never mentioned sister, Elizabeth. Well, mentioned as " Mrs. Ninian Edwards ", in whose home the Lincoln wedding occurred- but never as Mary Todd Lincoln's friend, support and the sister who remained quiet- and quietly loyal. To a sister. We should all be so lucky.
View attachment 168707 View attachment 168708
Elizabeth Todd Edwards, " Mrs. Ninian Edwards ". Mary Edwards Brown grandmother. Elizabeth never swerved in her sister's loyalty, repaid her trust and never attempted a sale of relics or agenda or to profit from ' Lincoln '- she was just Mary's sister. The wedding cake she baked for the new couple was still warm when cut. Her wedding account, tomorrow.

Please post anti-Mary Todd Lincoln sentiment elsewhere or begin another thread. A long-dead widow whose husband was murdered in the service of this country while she wore her brains in her lap, buried 3 children, suffered from post concussion syndrome, was publically attacked by men too cowardly to attack her husband and who death has not rescued from ridicule for 150 years is at least safe here.

Lincoln and his surviving three sons are in this photograph, btw, post election, before leaving Springfield for the last time. Yes, three.
View attachment 168703
Look at the window- the pale shape is a half of a boy's face and white collar


View attachment 168701
Could not figure out why the curtains were drawn back- there's a boy peering out! We'll never know why he did not join his brothers- sickness that day? Punishment? Still- the 3 Lincoln boys, wish we had one of Eddie but still, very cool.

" Wherever that woman lives is my home ", a quote remembered because we all have family stories. I love this, more proof the couple indeed were close. It's part of one story, very Lincoln, from Mary Edward Brown's collection.

Originally one story ( high ), the little home became too small for a growing family of boys. Mary- after all, a Todd, received her share of wealth from her father's estate in time to improve matters. While Lincoln was away on one of his route riding, lawyer tours, the construction took place, renovating their home and putting an entire 2nd floor onto the first. When Lincoln came home he walked all up and down their street calling to neighbors, that they should come help him find his wife and children- they were missing! Please, friends, when he left, his home, wife and family were there- now missing? Mary finally found this to be getting old and came to the door, telling her husband to stop it, please come in.

Well, you see her point. funny for awhile, Abe but she hadn't seen him for months, she'd had the whole house rebuilt- get IN here! This touching quote was as he spoke with friends, on his doorstep. Lovely man, funny, nice, family moment.

It was a happy home, a marriage two people determined to hold despite opposition and resulted in four children- only one destined to live into adulthood.

Mary Todd Lincoln, her husband's brains in her lap in Ford's Theatre had already lost two sons and would lose another, lost brothers, in laws and cousins in the war, had had her birthright erased, had Washington society slam its snooty doors in her face, was the helpless butt of a deliberate bullying campaign by a disgruntled ex-Lincoln partner too cowardly to attack her husband, was the victim of scams, was post-concussion from a horrific carriage accident in 1863 and the unwitting object of Stanton's jealousy.

Mary Edwards Brown unwittingly gives you chills, when speaking of momentos in her grandmother's home. You see, not only did this unfailingly loyal sibling host her sister's wedding- she cared for her in her last years.

Among momentos- posting tomorrow, Mary Lincoln's wonderful friend from happier days and neighbor's son Henry Rehmann, Jr. who would also lose his father. He would become Willie's buddy, while Willie was living in the White House. In this photo, he is wearing Eddie Lincoln's clothing. From a Life magazine spread, Mary Brown remembers her grandmother saying Mary Lincoln giving Eddie's clothing to her friend, Mary Rehmann- to take all of them, please.
View attachment 168695

Another momento, a very human, typically ' best friend ' relic, Mary Lincoln's present to her friend, Henry's mother. Pressed flowers, and an inscribed message.
View attachment 168697
Young mothers and close friends together- the pressed flower book was a present from one to the other- and yes, photo is of Lincoln.

View attachment 168698
More tomorrow- Elizabeth's, and Mary's Springfield, unadulterated story is far too important to stuff into one, long post. Mary Lincoln's hair, snipped after she died. Her sister ' laid her out ', while our country barely noticed. She kept it, not because it was a President's wife, it was a curl from her sister's head.

No, not all her story is wonderful. Mary Todd Lincoln was crushed by the time she died, unhappy and longing for death. There's no attempt made to present her in a false light. She does, however, tell the truth.
I have always like Mary Todd Lincoln. I have been told a few times I have the right face and figure to “be” her in an interpretation...I would have to do a ton of research!

I am looking forward to your next post...
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#19
I second this too! I wake up each morning looking forward to what new thing I'll learn AND enjoy learning from @JPK Huson 1863.

Oh pshaw, but how kind in you- all you see is rampant nosiness pretending to be historical interest! It's like rummaging in someone's attic while they're away, all this digging into History isn't it? The thing is, while up there in someone's attic, you find an awful lot of trunks which seem to have been pointedly ignored, you know?
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Speaking of trunks, Mary seems to have arrived back home in Springfield, at her sister's house with quite a few. She'd spend quite a bit of time endlessly sorting them- it was her life, is the thing. Packed away. Even here were reports she'd taken to buying, endlessly- which run horribly counter to a pinched purse. How?

Here's a piece of outrage and trivia. This country turned its back on Abraham Lincoln's widow but if money could be made from her, have at it. You will still see this ' portrait ' on Pinterest as Mary- part of a fraud committed after Robert Lincoln's death. A series of articles had published his part in his mother's commitment, public opinion grew against him and when the family was approached with a ' found ' painting? Easy pickins'.

Before it was discovered a fraud-
portrait1.jpg

Well, not Mary Todd Lincoln and Not Francis Bicknell Carpenter's work.

A lovely story, where Mary had this painted as a surprise but her husband was killed before it was done added drama, tragedy and value- albeit NOW Mary was worth a gazillion? All false as well as the documentation.

portrait2.jpg

A ' dabbler ' in oils, ( said his obit ) Ludwig Pflum, " Lew Bloom ", one of our American, self aggrandizers- jockey, circus clown, boxer vaudevillian...... art collector, approached Robert's widow. His retouching of an unknown woman's portrait, complete with the only portrait of Lincoln nestled in Mary's bosom she publically detested, was not ' outed ' until 1977.

But? Until then? America's most hated era woman was venerated- on canvas. Go figure.
 

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