Elizabeth Keckley--The Dresses


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18thVirginia

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Elizabeth Keckley was known to be the best dressmaker in Washington, D.C. because of her extraordinary ability to fit dresses.
 
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18thVirginia

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1867.Oct26.MrsLincolnsWardrobe.jpg

Mrs. Lincoln's wardrobe on exhibition in New York, Harper's Weekly, October 26, 1867

After Lincoln's death, Mary Lincoln tried to sell some of her old clothes. She was convinced by men in New York to auction them and left Elizabeth Keckley behind to help with the details. The whole episode became quite a scandal.
 
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18thVirginia

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Some of Keckley's other clients were Mary Custis Lee, Varina Davis, Adele Cutts Douglas and Margaret McClean.

fcd160428f38af486a61515c129bfecb.v1-2.jpg

Adele Cutts Douglas

Keckley said of her:

In the mean time I was employed by Mrs. Senator Douglas, one of the loveliest ladies that I ever met, Mrs. Secretary Wells, Mrs. Secretary Stanton, and others. Mrs. Douglas always dressed in deep mourning, with excellent taste, and several of the leading ladies of Washington society were extremely jealous of her superior attractions.
http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/keckley/keckley.html#keckley228
 
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