Mary Todd Lincoln... Sacrificed

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
The author's bio:
Anne E. Beidler
"Artist and College Art Professor specializing in Printmaking Artist Books and Asian Art."

I think there may be more than one person with that name :

ANNE E. BEIDLER lives in the seaport of Seattle, not far from members of her family. Her Pacific home is a continent away from Nantucket, the Alantic seaport where, more than a century and a half ago, the whaling ship Essex sailed off on its ill-fated sea hunt. With a doctorate in educational research, she is a lifetime history buff. Eating Owen is her first historical novel.

She wrote two books in the same year?

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I think there may be more than one person with that name :

ANNE E. BEIDLER lives in the seaport of Seattle, not far from members of her family. Her Pacific home is a continent away from Nantucket, the Alantic seaport where, more than a century and a half ago, the whaling ship Essex sailed off on its ill-fated sea hunt. With a doctorate in educational research, she is a lifetime history buff. Eating Owen is her first historical novel.

She wrote two books in the same year?

View attachment 189753


View attachment 189754

It appears to be that way. I stand corrected
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Summary of Mr. Herdon on Mary Todd... it differs from Irving Stones but you see where the vilifying of Mary Todd begins...

There is no doubt, as Donald shows, that Herndon's recollections and anecdotes, in attempting to demonstrate that Lincoln's marriage was troubled, tell an incomplete story, and thus make for a "distorted portrait," but that is very different from saying that he acted from malice.

Did Mary Todd Lincoln hate William Henry Herndon? The evidence suggests that she did with what appeared to her and many others to be good reason, but only after he published his offending Ann Rutledge lecture in November 1866. Did Herndon hate his partner's wife, and more importantly, did he frame, out of malice, a false and unfavorable picture of her? The current view that he did both, as I have tried to show, needs to be reconsidered, for it is almost entirely presumptive and is not based on established facts. Moreover, it often takes a form that verges on circularity: How do we know that Herndon hated Mary? Because he was out to get her. How do we know he was out to get her? Because he hated her. There is no factual basis for thinking that Herndon was openly or secretly hostile toward Mary Todd Lincoln prior to 1866, or vice versa, and no evidence to contradict his claim that she was always kind to him and that he, in turn, respected her. The evidence of his letters that refer to her, almost all written after Lincoln's death, suggests that while he often faulted her for her aristocratic ways and violent temper and that he believed Lincoln's home life was a "domestic hell," his mature view of her was complicated and heavily qualified, conceding to her many good qualities and valuable contributions. In spite of his reputation as her sworn enemy who in later years engaged her in "open warfare,"[78] a consistent theme in Herndon's correspondence from 1866 on is that Mary Todd Lincoln had been unfairly condemned as the sole source of difficulty in the Lincoln marriage, and that Lincoln, who was not an attentive and helpful husband, deserved a share of the blame. Herndon believed that they had married for the wrong reasons—she to land a successful politician and he to preserve his honor—and that this doomed their marriage. He further believed that she had changed over time—for the worse. They were not bad people, but they had a bad marriage. This caused Lincoln to be unhappy in his home life and Mary to sometimes behave as "the female wild cat of the age." In 1866, he had twice used a phrase that captures the essence of it: "what I know and shall tell only ennobles both—that is to say it will show that Mrs L has had cause to suffer, and be almost crazed, while Lincoln self sacrificed himself rather than to be charged with dishonor." [79]





I'm not being argumentative in a combative sense but this is riddled with ' weird '. Herndon was known at the time to have disliked her, and she wasn't crazy about him. After one dance, at a ball in Springfield he made a snarky comment to her, along the lines of how she danced with reptilian grace. Rats, saved the page and cannot find it. She answered along the lines of ' You would know reptiles '. It was not a warm relationship.

Herndon just, plain made stuff up. His statement in his letters, on ' trouble in the marriage ' presupposes there was trouble. The marriage was just fine. This couple had weathered Lincoln's depression, buried a child, forged a lif together as a young couple, prominent in the era's social scene and had a huge network of friends. Honestly, given this guy's level of intrusive behavior and his claimed knowledge of both, he was pretty creepy. Stalker creepy. What's he doing passing judgment on someone's marriage anyway?

" They were not bad people, but they had a bad marriage ". Piffle. I do not think Herndon even believed that, it was just more lucrative to lead people to believe he knew them this well. Bad marriage. When that other assassin, Booth, sent a bullet through Lincoln's head, Mary Lincoln's husband was holding her hand. He was talking to her, the kind of exchanges your husband only shares with his wife, " The place I would most like to see is Jerusalem ", then their bond on Earth vanished. Mary Lincoln had forced herself to go that night because her husband felt he had to- Grant had cancelled and Lincoln felt it unfair, after all the publicity, neither would show up. Supportive? She'd been sick that day. For her husband, Mary Lincoln patched herself together and went with him, to Ford's Theater. Bad marriage. Just no.

Herndon was much aggrieved at finding himself back in Springfield while his ex-law partner ( Herndon was only one of 3, just managed to forget the other two ) went to Washington. Most of Lincoln's old friends are names we've never heard, why? Because as friends, they wished the Lincolns well. Herndon would have exactly no place in history without another man's fame, exploited. Solely famous for ' knowing ' Lincoln, Herndon was a parasite, riding famous coat tails- and petticoats.

I'm sorry to be so lengthy but we're still supporting Booth's sidekick here. With the plethora of erroneous statements by Herndon, why give credence to anything he said?
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Here are her last days after she got her rights back...

https://featherfoster.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/mary-lincoln-the-last-sad-years/


Mary made a second voyage to Europe in 1876. This time she embarked from New York on October 1 aboard the steamship Labrador. The ship departed from the Transatlantic Company's pier at the bottom of Barrow Street. In all there were 48 passengers aboard the Labrador. Mary arrived in Le Havre, France, and from there traveled to Bordeaux and then to Pau. Much of her time was spent living in Pau during this trip. She settled in the Grand Hotel but later moved to the Henri Quatre.

During her second trip to Europe Mary visited such places as Marseilles, Avignon, Naples, Rome, and Sorrento. However, while in Pau, Mary took a fall from a stepladder. She injured her spinal cord. In December 1879 Ulysses and Julia Grant visited Pau but did not call on Mary.

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Exile!!!!!!

In late 1880, Mary Lincoln, no longer able to live on her own, left Europe and returned to live with her sister in Springfield, Illinois. She was sixty-one.

The Widow Lincoln in Exile

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April, 1865, the effects on the country would be far-reaching. So would the effects on his widow, who was 46 at the time. Her emotional health had always been fragile. She frightened easily, had submerged herself into the Victorian mode of perpetual mourning, and could barely cope with the realities of her situation.

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Mary Lincoln would never be the same after her husband’s assassination.

At the time of Lincoln’s death, Mary Lincoln had already lost two sons; one at three years, the other at eleven. She would lose another son at eighteen, and her sole surviving son would be lost to her by estrangement. Despite coming from a large family, she was, for all intents and purposes, alone in the world.

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Elizabeth Todd Edwards, Mary’s oldest sister, would be her lifeline for the rest of her life.

She had gone to Europe in 1868 to escape the humiliation and scandal from her aborted financial scheme to sell her clothing. Returning to America in 1871, she lost her last son, and saw her relationship with her eldest son Robert deteriorate along with her emotional health. By 1875, her condition had worsened to a point that Robert felt compelled to have his mother tried for insanity and placed in a sanitarium. Recovering from her “insanity” (which many historians believe may have been drug interaction from her various physical and psychosomatic ills), she lived for a time with her sister Elizabeth Edwards in Springfield, Illinois, in the very house where she met and later married Abraham Lincoln.

Unable to face the second humiliation and scandal of her troubled widowhood, she once again departed for Europe. This time she went to Pau, France.

Mrs. Lincoln in Pau

Pau, in the south of France, was specifically chosen by Mary Lincoln, since it was said to have the best climate in Europe, and she was always prone to chills and fevers. Good weather was a necessity for her refuge and the solitude she claimed to want.

She lived in a residence-hotel, one of many she had lived in during those years of her widowhood. Unable and unwilling to move back to the Lincoln house in Springfield, with its sad memories, she became virtually homeless. Residence hotels were common in those times. People who were alone in the world favored them for providing the amenities they needed while relieving them of the responsibilities of home-ownership they could neither afford or maintain.

For the better part of three years, she remained in general seclusion, making a few superficial acquaintances, and indulging in her preoccupation with shopping. Then her physical health began to fail. She was losing her eyesight, likely due to cataracts (and possibly an undiagnosed diabetes some historians suspect). In addition, she suffered a severe back injury from a fall. X-rays would not be invented for more than another decade, but it is not unlikely that a bone or two may have been broken. The chronic pain would plague her for the rest of her life.

It was time to go home. The only place she could call “home” was her sister Elizabeth’s house in Springfield. She booked passage.

Mary Lincoln’s Belongings

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The home of Ninian and Elizabeth Edwards in Springfield, IL. Mary was married in that house, and died in that house.

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Mary Lincoln’s brother-in-law, Ninian Edwards

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Lewis Baker, Mary Lincoln’s great-nephew. One of the few people she cared for in her later years.

One of the very few people who the Widow Lincoln cared for and trusted was young Lewis Baker, her sister’s grandson, now a young man around twenty. He was sent to New York to meet Mary’s ship, and escort her back to Springfield. He was also tasked with helping to ship her belongings to the Edwards’ house.

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Elizabeth Todd Edwards in her older years.

Despite Mary’s homelessness, she had a huge amount of possessions trailing after her wherever she went – like the scattered debris tail of a comet. More than sixty crates and trunks and boxes were filled with the stuff of her life. Clothing and jewelry and household goods she hadn’t used in years and never would, Lincoln memorabilia, mementos from her White House years, artwork and decorative items she had purchased. Some things had never been taken out of their original boxes.

Elizabeth and Ninian Edwards had agreed to have her come. She was family, and they knew she had nowhere else to go. But they were unprepared for the general disturbance Mary-in-residence would cause them. They knew she was demanding and difficult, but they were overwhelmed at the wagonloads of her baggage.

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A “doctored” photograph of Mary, said to be the last ever taken.

In those days, an upstairs room was usually assigned to store a family’s empty luggage. Trips usually lasted for several weeks; clothing and accessories required a great deal of care and room in packing. Families could easily have more than a dozen large trunks.

With Mary’s arrival, sufficient room needed to be found in the Edwards’ house to store her filled crates and trunks. Within days of Mrs. Lincoln’s arrival, the Edwards’ long-time housemaid resigned. It seems her bedroom was directly below one of the rooms containing Mary’s heavy trunks, and the ceiling was buckling. The maid had a legitimate fear that the ceiling would collapse from the weight, and fall on her when she was asleep.

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First Lady Mary Lincoln – in better days.

Mary Lincoln seldom (if ever) left the house, and usually kept to herself and her room. Instead, she “visited” her trunks and belongings. Despite her bad back, she climbed the stairs and remained on her knees for hours, bending over various cases, examining their contents, unfolding and refolding, and thinking whatever private thoughts came to her mind.

Springfield children, too young to remember the First Lady of two decades earlier, regarded her as a peculiar old woman who sat alone in a darkened room upstairs, never lifting the shades. They were not completely wrong.


I'm sorry but poking around in her last, sad days is not telling her story. Following an aging widow through her home disallows her the dignity to which she is entitled. Any aged woman can be drawn as peculiar, if we permit ourselves the luxury of being judge and jury. So, what? If she found some pleasure in gathering about her, relics from better days, is it up to us to peek in windows and watch her pain? So, what? Struggling with a bad back, show me an elderly woman who does not. This passage implies Mary was somehow bizarre, getting around anyway. Good for her.

And I do not for a second believe residents thought of her as just an odd, old lady. Good grief. Lincoln's widow, like the next generation had not been filled in? One of the women's magazines compiled interviews from locals who knew her, in a public refutation of Herndon's work. It's crazy good- we see Mary Lincoln, an extraordinarily respected, kind and bright woman, and cherished American.
 

kevikens

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Location
New Jersey
I know little about Mary Todd Lincoln other than that she appears as a peripheral character in the drama of the Civil War. I do know this, however, from an anecdotal observation of human nature. I have seen any number of marriages where on the surface I have wondered what it was that attracted these two people to one another. One partner may appear to be very attractive, the other somewhat homely. One may seem to be winsome and outgoing, the other reticent and reserved. One could be seen as highly educated and professionally well known while the other partner more of a common sense, homebody, facilitator, perhaps ill at ease in any limelight. Maybe one is strongly opinionated, the other tolerant of any human foibles. Yet if one looks closely he can see something else, that each sees in his or her partner, something good, something nurturing and supportive and recognizes that for them to be a whole, they need the other, and cherish that other for meeting that need. I can form no conclusions about Mary Todd Lincoln from the popular media of the day or those who for whatever reason derived much glee in pillorying her but I know that Abraham lincoln was one of the most astute observers of the human condition who ever lived and if he saw in Mary his other half, I say that she must have been a good spouse in the most essential manner that any person can be, the helpmate of one's journey through life. If she had flaws and weaknesses in her character Lincoln seemed oblivious to them and, perhaps, so should we.
 

AnnaLee

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
I have always respected Mary Todd Lincoln. She endured the heartbreak of losing 3 out of 4 children and lost her husband to a murdering devil. Instead of being understanding and supportive, a lot of people chose to cut her down. Respect and understanding were missing in those days, and today. You have to look at the total person and try to understand why they are acting the way they do. This is one of the first things I was taught as a nurse helping those who were ill--mentally or physically.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
I have always respected Mary Todd Lincoln. She endured the heartbreak of losing 3 out of 4 children and lost her husband to a murdering devil. Instead of being understanding and supportive, a lot of people chose to cut her down. Respect and understanding were missing in those days, and today. You have to look at the total person and try to understand why they are acting the way they do. This is one of the first things I was taught as a nurse helping those who were ill--mentally or physically.


Wonderfully said! Once created a timeline, on her losses. Crazy, crazy stuff! She lost more siblings in that war than we talk of, too, plus sisters who simply never spoke to her again. One sister I can find, actually communicated with Herndon. Loss, loss, loss, betrayal, loss- it is staggering. Washington women, Northern, were big jerks- they actually sent an etiquette coach to her. A Todd, for Heaven's sake, one of the most ' well connected ', chi chi elites in the South. Southern women disowned her, married to their enemy-est enemy, Northern shouldered her out.

Boy, when we're determined to kick someone when they're down, we sure make sure they stay down for 150 years. Since you're familiar with emotionally traumatized people, is it at all odd Mary became isolated? Bet a gazillion bucks she was agoraphobic, too. That's fear of contact, not fear of leaving one's house ( you know that, sorry ).
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
I found this on Mary Todd and the Spirits... Snippets... a link...

http://www.lincolncottage.org/mary-lincolns-seance-at-the-soldiers-home/

MARY LINCOLN’S SEANCE AT THE SOLDIERS’ HOME
Starting with Willie Lincoln’s death in February 1862, Mary Lincoln began to engage in spirit circles. Spirit circles, or seances, were led by a medium who helped those gathered communicate with loved ones who had “crossed over.” Spirits communicated with the living by various means including sounds like rapping, scratching, and playing instruments and touches like tugging on hair or clothing, and pinching those gathered. In her grief, Mary Lincoln was all too eager to entertain the idea that she could communicate with her sons who had died, Willie and Eddie, and other deceased family members.

Despite the widespread interest and practice of spiritualism in its many forms, Mary Lincoln’s involvement in spirit circles drew gossip and criticism, not just of her, but of Abraham Lincoln who occasionally accompanied her. Scholars maintain Lincoln attended seances out of curiosity or concern for his wife, not out of belief in the legitimacy of “spirit rappings.” It is clear he had reservations about mediums, and his concern over one in particular, Lord Colchester, a man who claimed to be the illegitimate son of an English duke, caused him to ask Dr. Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian, to investigate the supposed medium. When Henry was unable to determine the source of the spirit rappings Colchester summoned, Henry asked Noah Brooks to investigate at a seance. According to Brooks, that seance took place right here at the Soldiers’ Home.

Here is Noah Brooks’s recollection of what happened that night.

“After the company had been seated around the table in the usual approved manner, and the lights were turned out, the silence was broken by the thumping of a drum, the twanging of a banjo, and the ringing of bells, all of which instruments had been laid on the table, ready for use. By some hocus-pocus, it was evident, [Colchester] had freed his hands from the hands of those who sat on each side of him, and was himself making ‘music in the air.’ Loosening my hands from my neighbors’, who were unbelievers, I rose, and, grasping in the direction of the drumbeat, grabbed a very solid and fleshy hand in which was held a bell that was being thumped on a drum-head. I shouted, ‘Strike a light!’ My friend, after what appeared to be an unconscionable length of time, lighted a match; but meanwhile somebody had dealt me a severe blow with the drum, the edge of which cut a slight wound on my forehead. When the gas was finally lighted, the singular spectacle was presented of ‘the son of the duke’ firmly grasped by a man whose forehead was covered with blood, while the arrested scion of nobility was glowering at the drum and bells which he still held in his hands.”

You will have to read the link to find out what happened to Lord Colchester...



 

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.” — George Bernard Shaw


Since childhood, Mary Todd Lincoln claimed she would marry a man who would become President. And she did. What probably never occurred to her was the question of what she would do after that.

She was a woman of intense ambition living at a time when there was very little that she could achieve personally. As a woman, she could not vote, run for office or serve on a jury. She channeled her drive through her husband.

The very success she strove so long and so hard for Lincoln to achieve deprived her of her life’s purpose and left her unsupported in a hostile environment. Lincoln referred to Mary as “child-wife.” She described him as “my everything.” With the responsibilities of the presidency taking so much of his time and attention, Lincoln no longer acted as a calming influence and a support during Mary’s periods of anxiety and sadness. In Illinois, she had been a close advisor and active participant in Lincoln’s political life. In Washington, D.C. her hard-won knowledge and insights were suddenly irrelevant. She shared her views on people and events with Lincoln, but she no longer had much influence on him. Now when they were together, Lincoln longed for escape from the pressures of his responsibilities. He recognized attempts to get to him through her, but Mary did not. She was not aware when people tried to get information about Lincoln’s plans by speaking with her. Lincoln avoided talking with Mary about matters he wanted to keep confidential.

As the wife of the President, she was thrust into an arena of conflict more vicious and intense than anything going on in Congress. She was thrown into the battle for who would be the leader of Washington society against intelligent and driven women like herself who had no other outlet for their ambition. The genteel battle was fought with fashion, food, and clothing as well as backbiting, rumor and innuendo. Men were not involved. Men were essentially powerless.

When Andrew Jackson was President, pleas by the pillars of government to their wives to go easy on Jackson’s wife were ignored. The ladies of Washington society gave no quarter to the President’s wife who they savaged and scorned, making her miserable. Mary started out competing well, but she eventually became scorned and maligned by “high society” in Washington. Her position was further hampered by the war. Many in her family were Confederate sympathizers. Northern reporters looked for any sign she supported the South. In southern papers was slandered as the wife of the President.

Mrs. Lincoln’s behavior helped her detractors. Her ideas about how the wife of the President should act led her to adopt a haughty attitude, offensive to even her best friends. When shopping she would remain in a carriage outside a story while servants carried items to her for her imperial approval or disapproval. Friends back in Springfield Illinois tired of the attitude expressed in her letters started referring to her as “the queen” and stopped corresponding with her.

Mary had many stellar qualities, but forgiveness was not among them. Once estranged from someone, she found it extremely difficult to give up her grudge and revive a formerly positive relationship.
 

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
My attitude towards Mary Todd has done a 180 from what it was 5 or 6 years ago thanks to the well researched information the ladies here at CWT have provided.
Edited.

In an appendix to The Madness of Mary Lincoln by Jason Emerson, James S. Brust, M.D., writes …Mary Lincoln’s full sister, Elizabeth Edwards, revealed that her daughter, who would have been Mary’s niece, first showed signs of “insanity” at age thirteen and “at the birth of each child, the same symptoms were shown and severely felt.” …Michael Burlingame shoe in his upcoming biography of Abraham Lincoln, one of Mary’s brothers, Dr. George Todd suffered from depression, while another brother, Levi Owen Todd died in an insane asylum. Also institutionalized were niece Mattie Todd and a grandniece….Another grandniece, Nellie Canfield, committed suicide. Together these cases point toward an inherited biological component to Mary Lincoln’s mental Illinois.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Mary Todd Lincoln and Spiritualist ... link to a famous photo of Mary Todd Lincoln with Abe Lincoln's ghost... a photo of Mary Todd Lincoln's favorite spiritualist...

http://www.misshavishamscuriosities.com/blog/2016/02/15/white-house-seances-and-madness

Snippet...

Jane Pierce had shared the story of her successful seance with the Fox sisters with Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was a controversial figure in Washington from day one of her husband's presidency.

Like Jane Pierce, Mary called on the services of well known spiritualists like Cranston Laurie, also a high ranking employee of the US Postal Service, young Nettie Colburn Maynard and "another identified in the record only as 'Colchester of Georgetown' to conduct these 'calls to the dead' in the White House Red Room."

Snippet...

Mary is said to have been so taken by the young spiritualist, Nettie Colburn Maynard, that she secured a furlough for her brother as well as a job for Nettie as a clerk at the Department of Agriculture. She was desperate for Nettie to remain in Washington and asked Nettie to perform a seance in the presence of the President. Mary believed she was speaking to her son and that after the seance He comes to me every night and stands at the foot of my bed with the same, sweet adorable smile he has always had..."she wrote to her sister.

Snippet...

Nettie wrote in her 1891 memoir, Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist? Curious Revelations from a Trance Medium, that she and her congress of spirits had influenced the President on matters of state and had brought about the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Bold claim, Nettie.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
The Lincoln's and spirits...

51buy4OCcxL.jpg



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LCAEBTI/?tag=civilwartalkc-20

In 1862, in the midst of a bloody civil war, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary, suffered unspeakable heartache when their young son died. To combat her grief, First Lady Mary Lincoln became a devotee of Spiritualism making the White House a center for Washington, D.C.'s Spiritualist community. For decades historians have maintained that President Lincoln only attended a few seances in an attempt to protect his mentally unstable wife. This narrative is incorrect, using a host of previously neglected primary sources, historian Michelle L. Hamilton documents the numerous seances President Lincoln attended and the interest he had for the religion. Michelle L. Hamilton's "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears" sheds new light onto the Lincolns' interest in Spiritualism and proves that Mary Lincoln might not have been the only Spiritualist in the White House. "Perhaps now we can frankly admit, without ridicule or condemnation, the role Spiritualism played in the lives of Abraham and Mary,"--William Weeks, Ph.D., San Diego State University
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
In an appendix to The Madness of Mary Lincoln by Jason Emerson, James S. Brust, M.D., writes …Mary Lincoln’s full sister, Elizabeth Edwards, revealed that her daughter, who would have been Mary’s niece, first showed signs of “insanity” at age thirteen and “at the birth of each child, the same symptoms were shown and severely felt.” …Michael Burlingame shoe in his upcoming biography of Abraham Lincoln, one of Mary’s brothers, Dr. George Todd suffered from depression, while another brother, Levi Owen Todd died in an insane asylum. Also institutionalized were niece Mattie Todd and a grandniece….Another grandniece, Nellie Canfield, committed suicide. Together these cases point toward an inherited biological component to Mary Lincoln’s mental Illinois.


I'm not sure what to say in reply- there's a lot here and in the previous post.

Mary Todd Lincoln was not ' mad ', she was and remains one of the most tragic figures in history. She was, however, vilified, slandered, victimized, bullied and attacked. Assertions on her and a supposedly fractured marriage are just not based in fact. Between marrying the enemy-est enemy of them all, for which her Southern family ( and the elite Southern society in which she grew up ) never forgave her, she was attacked by those too chicken to attack her husband and managed to pick up what amounted to a stalker, an ex-law partner of Lincoln's ( Herndon, although hate to give him a name ) on the way.

Because something is written down and worse, published does not make it true- Herndon's ridiculous book is sourced into 2018. Earlier books sourced back to Herndon get sourced, and it continues. But no one looks into Herndon's motives and sources. Guy made a fortune on writing shock-horror dreck about her and more touring the country. He filled lecture halls, selling tickets, as some ' expert ' on Mary Todd Lincoln. We do love hearing awful things about someone, the more famous, the better.

There are quite a few threads on Mary, so will not engage in an argument about her. The thing is, when incorrect information on her comes up, it has to be addressed or she is still fodder.
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
I'm not sure what to say in reply- there's a lot here and in the previous post.

Mary Todd Lincoln was not ' mad ', she was and remains one of the most tragic figures in history. She was, however, vilified, slandered, victimized, bullied and attacked. Assertions on her and a supposedly fractured marriage are just not based in fact. Between marrying the enemy-est enemy of them all, for which her Southern family ( and the elite Southern society in which she grew up ) never forgave her, she was attacked by those too chicken to attack her husband and managed to pick up what amounted to a stalker, an ex-law partner of Lincoln's ( Herndon, although hate to give him a name ) on the way.

Because something is written down and worse, published does not make it true- Herndon's ridiculous book is sourced into 2018. Earlier books sourced back to Herndon get sourced, and it continues. But no one looks into Herndon's motives and sources. Guy made a fortune on writing shock-horror dreck about her and more touring the country. He filled lecture halls, selling tickets, as some ' expert ' on Mary Todd Lincoln. We do love hearing awful things about someone, the more famous, the better.

There are quite a few threads on Mary, so will not engage in an argument about her. The thing is, when incorrect information on her comes up, it has to be addressed or she is still fodder.
Woundn’t That be enough to drive one crazy?
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I want to preface this post by admitting I know absolutely nothing about being a woman and would never pretend to do so but I know what will happen after certain actions and/or words by me as I have been happily married to the same woman for 46 years.

When I think about Mary Todd Lincoln, my heart fills with co mpassion and pity for the woman who lived an isolated life under the scrutiny of the occupants of Washington DC is. I know little about her but have read much of her experiences in life.

She was a well-educated woman from a well to do family of Southern culture which engender suspicion about her background and social graces. Coupled with the Lincoln’s Illinois background she faced an uphill battle to fit into the DC social scene. She experienced Northern prejudice for her Southern roots and Southern prejudice for her political beliefs.

Mary was unable to intermingle well with the important women of the capitol and suffered being isolated for faults. All of her attempts to fit in were for naught. Her closet confident was Elizabeth Keckley her black seamstress. I realize companionship is a necessary aspect of women’s social structure yet Mary was unable to secure friends. The poor woman had few acquaintances let alone friends.

The subsequent reputation of having a terrible temper, being uncultured and a spendthrift were all true. She suffered the loss of two sons before Lincoln’s assignation and a third soon so after in 1871. Then in 1875 her sole surviving son, Robert, had her committed for 3 months.

Not being a doctor I can only speculate that were she to be living today, Modern Medicine would be able to assist her to cope with all that she had experienced.
Regards
David
I don't know about modern medicine being all that great regarding mental illness but I do agree anyone would go crazy dealing with the stresses she went through.
Leftyhunter
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
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