Katherine Helm (1857-1937)


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Anna Elizabeth Henry

1st Lieutenant
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#22
Has there ever been any solid reasons why Robert Lincoln had his mother put away or was she just caring to much depression.
She suffered from severe depression from what I can tell from period accounts I've read of her behavior after Lincoln's assassination. She'd lock herself in her bedroom with all the curtains drawn and not want to come out.

At the time mental illness wasn't fully understood (honestly its still very misunderstood), so the only thing to do to people who behaved that way - especially women - was to put them away. It's tough to deal with depression today with medicine and therapy sessions, so imagine at that time there was nothing they could do other than put you away. Especially if you didn't want to be bothered with the other person's mental issues.
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

1st Lieutenant
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Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
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#23
An interesting insight into the infamous 'madhouse' of the post-Civil War era was written up by world renowned reporter Nellie Bly in her series called "Ten Days in a Madhouse" wherein as an investigative journalist she had her self institutionalized. Great read for anyone interested in the conditions during the 1880's in such institutions. Below are some links about her and the story she broke. The second one is her actual article series -

http://mentalfloss.com/article/29734/ten-days-madhouse-woman-who-got-herself-committed
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bly/madhouse/madhouse.html
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#26
I'm back and forth on family writings about Mary Todd. I'd had an idea the sisters who visited her and seemed so close genuinely were. Sisters can be unpredictable. Since then, reading some of their stuff there are quite a few barbs. It made me feel even worse for Mary Todd Lincoln. She had no one, a Southerner, ostracized by Northern society women because of it, married the enemiest enemy of them all, lost 2 sons before her husband was murdered in front of her eyes, lost another later then the last was lost through enstrangment, her single friend seemed to have thrown her under a bus, she had what amounts to a stalker hounding her every move for money, Congress whiffed on a pension for their President's widow, for Heaven's sake and what was left of her family opened curtains into her private life ( which was the only thing she had left and they opened the door to that sad room too ), the more salacious the better.

What I'd like to see is a book, " The Kindnesses of Mary Todd Lincoln ".

Sorry to side track your thread, Donna. I apologize, there's just so much ' ick ' about Mary , you know?
 



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