Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
According to the brochure, "The house was completed in 1806 and was occupied by the Todd family from 1832 until 1849. After marrying Abraham Lincoln in 1842, Mary brought her family to visit her childhood home in 1847 while on their way to Washington, where her husband spent hours in Mr. Todd's extensive library..." The view above is from the garden side of the house, which is located directly upon the modern sidewalk and Main Street in the front. Originally built on the edge of Lexington the house has been engulfed by the modern downtown.
"Mary Todd resided here from the ages of 13 to 21, when she left for Springfield, Illinois, to live with a sister. There she met Abraham Lincoln and they were married in November 1842. The Lincolns stayed at this home during a three-week visit to Lexington in November 1847. The Lincolns visited Lexington on several other occasions, including to settle the estate of Mary's father in 1849. The house opened as a museum in 1977." Although the house underwent a number of owners and some structural changes after the Todds and had been threatened with demolition, it has now been lovingly restored and furnished as it might've looked during Mary's girlhood.
"Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd, was born to a prominent Lexington family in 1818. The Georgian house in which she lived from 1832 until 1839 is open for tour, and includes Todd family furnishings as well as Todd and Lincoln memorabilia... Mary Todd's Lexington heritage followed her to the nation's capital: the fact that some of her Kentucky relatives, including several of her half-brothers, fought for the Confederacy, aroused suspicion against Mrs. Lincoln in Washington, D.C." Members of the Forums should be gratified to know that one very real intent of the operators of the museum is the humanization of the First Lady after more than a century of demonization and opprobrium. Instead of being given a bum's rush sort of house tour like in many such venues the hour-long tour I experienced gave insight into Mary Todd and explained some of her apparent and well-known foibles.
"The Mary Todd Lincoln House is at 578 West Main Street. Open April through November." Also nearby to the west of downtown is the sprawling and beautiful Lexington Cemetery below where many of Mary's Todd relatives are buried in the family plot; other notables buried here include Henry Clay, Vice President and Maj. Gen. John Cabell Breckinridge, Confederate Brig. Gen.'s John Hunt Morgan, Basil Duke, and Roger Hanson; Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger; and other Kentucky notables.