MARY LINCOLN: The wife of the sixteenth president of the United States.
I've wondered where to begin with Mrs. Lincoln so I think I'll give my readers a brief overview of her early life before she married Abraham, who truly was devoted to her. They were like night and day. In their case, opposites did attract.
Mary was from an elite family. Her father, Robert Smith Todd, was an established banker, earning enough money to send not just his sons to school but also his daughters. Mary had twelve years of an education, which is unheard of in her day. Mary grew up mingling with powerful politicians such as Senator Henry Clay. Mary was vivacious, very bright, very interested in politics, very sociable. She became Abraham's intelligent and trustworthy informant about political issues. She knew just about everyone and had a wonderful sense of a person's character, if only her temper wouldn't get in the way. She had the Todd temper. One day she was gracious and kind, the next horrible.
However, I believe, that Mary had good reason to be temperamental, but she did like the drama and carried her temper too far in a lot of cases. That being said, who could blame her? She had to deal with a husband that had homespun humor, and she was quite the refined woman. Besides having her husband shot, and who was sitting right beside her, she'd also lost two children by that time, and later her beloved, Tad. With the death of three children and one husband, all she had left was Robert, who committed her to a mental hospital. From what I've read, they were always estranged. Robert never understood his mother. She was neurotic with mild dementia plus eccentric. Abraham was gone most of the time, leaving her the parental duties plus taking care of the house. At home in Springfield, this meant milking the cows, etc, plus cooking. They were poor. Mr. Todd purchased their house for them.
As you can see, my heart really does go out to Mary. I think history judges her too harsh and hopefully I can change the readers opinion about her, even if it's just a little bit.
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