Tales Of Two Mary Todd Lincolns, Pick One

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JPK Huson 1863

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new mary double.JPG

Brady image, LoC . Which Mary is which? That's not a trick question, either. History presents her in such wildly divergent ways there may as well have been two.

Lady of Lincoln, They wreathed her head With thorns when living, With nettles though dead.” MarIon Mills Miller

Just pulled my dyed blond hair out. Discovered yet another ' Biography ' on Mary Todd Lincoln, written not long after her death. I should have guess it'd be yet another thinly disguised take-down. Dedication gushes about help received from Mrs. Robert Todd Lincoln. Mary and her daughter in law were not er, close buddies. Added to the list, each author claiming to have THE definitive take on Mary Todd, biggest bunch of convoluted nonsense, half-truths, manipulated factoids and bandwagon jumping with which we're burdened into 2020.

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Portion of one outraged letter in a Washington, DC newspaper. Writer had followed her to hospitals, watched her philanthropy, was familiar with Mrs. President's consistent efforts including supporting Elizabeth Keckely's organization dedicated to supporting black war refugees. For every piece of snark and libel printed, you'll find 3 of these. If you look. For whatever reason, don't.

Lincoln ex-law partner William Herndon was irked to be excluded from his ex-partner's trip to Washington. He'd be the noisiest, most intrusive, least truthful ' expert ' on Mary Todd. Snarky kind of guy anyway, Mary once flattened him at a ball, saying he danced like a reptile. That was referring to Herndon's malicious tendencies, this was not a nice guy. His ' expose ' is still sourced, is one huge problem. That William Herndon made a living bullying and pretty well stalking a woman tells it's own tale. I'll always refer to William Herndon as the man Lincoln forgot to punch in the head.

Here's some classic, Herndon, plain old made up stuff. Out of thin air and spite. When Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd rekindled a relationship initially broken off through family pressure, their decision to haul off and be married- as in now- resulted in one of the nicest weddings I've heard of. Sister Elizabeth, 7 months pregnant and friends swung into action. A few friends and relatives witnessed their marriage at the Edward's home. Elizabeth said the wedding cake was placed on the buffet table still warm from the oven. Mary borrowed a dress, their minister officiated.

According to Herndon, Mary was garbed in silk, satin and lace, dripping diamonds, a cardinal officiated in some mythical cathedral ( they were not Catholic, no idea how the cardinal got into the story ). filled with hundreds of society's most gilded citizenry. THAT wedding was apparently the second planned event, according to this misogynist. He also plain, old made up a ' first ' wedding which Lincoln missed on purpose. That so MUCH ugly myth, easily proven to be idiotic made it into 2020 tells me we'd rather believe the worst. No idea why.

NYC invited the President's wife for an official visit- then proceeded to minutely criticize every step taken inside the city. It was a disaster. Furious rebuttals were written and not by she.
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McClure's magazine produced a wonderful, well-researched article refuting the claims of Herndon and others ( including a sister ). They patiently interviewed old friends, social acquaintances, political connections and those who knew the Lincoln family. What happened was, most resented having one of this country's favorite kicking posts removed. You can't find their research anywhere into 2020. It's good stuff and not the only source, either.

She used her position as the Presiden't wife to do a huge amount of good. This is from a Kansas newspaper, story from a DC edition picked up and re-printed. This is only one- dozens like these and do not seem to have made headway against how much more fun it was hack the woman to death.
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From one of quite a few era works depicting the Lincoln family, she's frequently pictured off to one side or across a table from husband and children. I'm never sure whether or not this one especially signified a sneer- her feet are resting on a pillow, dress obviously lavish. This stuff seeped into our fabric. Funny how ugly stuff always does, isn't it?
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Again. We just don't like taking Mary Todd Lincoln from the list of favorite villains. I'm still hearing the one about why the Grants weren't at Ford's Theater that awful night. The one where Julia refused to attend out of dislike for the President's wife? Really, really nonsense and the thing is, the true story is historically important. The Grants were spooked, made uncomfortable by circumstances Julia plain, old mistrusted. That she followed her instincts means her husband lived to be President and there was one, less tragedy April 14th, 1865. Torquing history to fit agenda is never helpful. Add to that this one misses an awfully important aspect of the assassination that rocked America.

' Lincoln's last reception ', probably retitled from an original designation after his death. I'm not sure who the woman in greeb would be, other faces should look familiar. Mary had supporters inside her husband's administration. Well, maybe not Halleck. He didn't like anyone.
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Here's a challenge. Instead of posting an extremely long list " Nonsense V Fact ", Mary Todd Lincoln, post whichever unattractive story influences your perspective about her. Promise I won't argue the point, ( unless it's yet another Ann Rutledge claim, they're beginning to make me a little crabby ). but love the chance to dig up the real story. With sources.
 

DBF

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Here’s one that made me think about Mary’s “supposed” seances and the fact that Willie and Eddie would come visit her. It’s told by her sister Emilie who stayed at the White House after the death of her husband Confederate General Benjamin Hardin Helm at Chickamauga. The story as told in the book “”House of Abraham” by Stephen Berry (page 153):

“After retiring one night, Emilie heard a soft knock at her door. ‘I want to see you Emilie,’ Mary said, ‘that one may not be wholly without comfort when our loved ones leave us. When my noble little Willie was first taken from me, I felt that I had fallen into a deep pit of gloom and despair without a ray of light anywhere. . If Willie did not come to comfort me I would still be drained in tears, and while I long inexpressibly to touch him, to hold him in my arms and still grieve that he has no future in this world that I might watch with a proud mother’s heart - he lives, Emilie! He comes to me every night, and stands at the foot of my bed with the same sweet, adorable smile he has always had; he does not always come alone; little Eddie is sometimes with him and twice he has come with our brother Alec, he tells me he loves his Uncle Alec and is with him most of the time’.”

Her sister was sleeping in the “The Prince of Wales Room” and she wrote of the incident in her diary:

“The Prince of Wales Room was spooky enough already. The purple drapes and purple wallpaper seemed ‘gloomy and funeral’ and as Mary talked the ghost of the boy who had died there, she spoke with ‘a thrill in her voice’ and her eyes grew so ‘wide and shining,’ it gave Emilie the chills. ‘I had a feeling of awe as if I were in the presence of the supernatural. It is unnatural and abnormal, it frightens me’.”

The depth of her grief is heart wrenching and you can understand her reaching out for any hope to relieve her grief. It seems too easy to forget the private sorrow she had to deal with during her White House years.

Although the sisters found comfort in one another it would not be too long before pressure would be put upon the Lincoln’s to expel their “southern” visitor. As the story concludes (page 156):

“The final parting between the Lincolns and Little Sister was a hard one. The moment they all stepped outside, the calm they had created within the White House collapsed behind them. Emilie was about to spiral back out into the vortex, and none of them knew when or if they would be together again.”

And Mary was left again in sorrow.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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“The Prince of Wales Room was spooky enough already. The purple drapes and purple wallpaper seemed ‘gloomy and funeral’ and as Mary talked the ghost of the boy who had died there, she spoke with ‘a thrill in her voice’ and her eyes grew so ‘wide and shining,’ it gave Emilie the chills. ‘I had a feeling of awe as if I were in the presence of the supernatural. It is unnatural and abnormal, it frightens me’.”
I don't want to be the fruitloop in the room, but I've never been able to completely dismiss those reports, you know? Well, maybe not! :angel: I don't know, one seance Mary bugged her husband to attend was just, plain weird. It sounds like a few cabinet members went along just for laugh, you could see why. They probably thought ' What a hoot, why not? " I forget all of what happened from the top of my head and Lincoln reports state he wasn't sold. There was a a kind of visual prophesy concerning CSS Alabama no one ever able to figure out.

And we know how frequently Lincoln's ghost has been freaking out guests in his bedroom. Winston Churchill didn't sound phased but the Queen of Netherlands wasn't very happy. I ' think ' Lynda Bird Johnson, LBJ's daughter ran into little Willie, too? Maybe someone from Grant's administration, have to go look that up.

Who knows? And yes, if that poor woman was comforted by whatever it was she saw or felt, who could begrudge her that refuge?
 
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Mrs. V

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I’d always heard about the Spiritualism, but that was quite popular in the day. Never could figure out why people had such a hard time understanding why she’d be interested. Jeez, she lost two children!

I guess the most negative thing I ever heard about her was that she overspent on dresses, and then didn’t pay the bills. Not so sure about that, as many of her gowns were designed and executed by her servant. (whose name escapes me).

I’ve always felt Mary was unfairly treated, especially after the assassination of her husband. I’ve never understood why there wasn’t a provision for her care. Why wasn’t housing and a pension provided?
 

DBF

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When it comes to the grieving process, it seems that everyone handles it differently and Mary certainly had plenty to deal with. I have done a thread that talked about her friendship with Mary Welles (Gideon Welles wife). She and Mary bonded over shared grief during the White House years.
Reference Thread
* * * * * * *​

But on the lighter side this story I found interesting as it shows them as a young couple meeting for the 1st time.

“Neither Abraham nor Mary was, in a superficial sense, attractive. Mary had pretty skin, pretty eyes, and soft brown hair. . . She had also inherited (her father’s) tendency to portliness. . . Mary was fatter than her sisters and fleshy in ways that even a floor-length hemline couldn’t hide. Compared to Abraham, however, she was gorgeous.” {*}

When he 1st entered the parlor of the Edwardses’s Parlor (Mary sister and brother-in-law’s) home in Springfield, he happened to walk in as Mary was laughing. After an introduction, he inquired as to what she was laughing at. Mary replied “You”.

According to Mr. Berry, Mary’s ideal beau of a man was Henry Clay - and Henry Clay was built similar to Abe as both were tall and lanky. Their likes: Kentucky; Shakespeare; poetry; and the Whig Party.

No one will ever understand why the engagement was called off. The author of “House of Abraham” explains it thus:

“Their engagement, it that’s what is was, was sustainable only because they’d spent so little time together (almost none of it alone) . . . (Lincoln had been away campaigning as Berry continues) . . . “Meeting Mary for the first time in months, he managed to be shocked by her bad qualities, most of which had been apparent from the beginning and all of which she would have readily owned.” {*}

Apparently she had gained some weight. He also seemed to discover that “Mary was self-indulgent . . . she loved glitter show and pomp and power. . . prone to tantrums and had a tongue like a ‘Damascus blade’, and Lincoln pitied the man who would be on its business end. With a rising sense of panic, he realized he was in danger of becoming exactly that man.” {*}

Yet they married and made a life together - but was it happy? Maybe there are 2 sides to Mary because that was the only way she could cope with her marriage. And if she counted on her children to help “fill-in” any emptiness from her husband - that was not meant to be.

*House of Abraham, by Stephen Berry page 32-33
 
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Some time ago I read the following: THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN by SUSAN B. MARTINEZ PH.D. I found it all very entertaining and I wondering if others have read it and what they felt about it. The Lincolns seemed a match in their outlook and politics plus maybe also on an unrecognized spiritual level unknown to most. I have always supported Mary Todd Lincoln and her strong feelings upon the World and the Supernatural World. Her visions (an Abe's also) have been wrongly used against them.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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I guess the most negative thing I ever heard about her was that she overspent on dresses, and then didn’t pay the bills. Not so sure about that, as many of her gowns were designed and executed by her servant. (whose name escapes me).

That's Elizabeth Keckley? She was a high end, Washington, DC designer who ended up being Mary's closest friend. A book by her ended the friendship- Mary felt betrayed by what Keckley wrote and some is indeed damaging. Someone with a much better grasp on Keckley ( whose story is incredible ) showed up here on CWT and said pressure had been put on Elizabeth to invlude salacous tid bits in order to get the book published. Keckley also designed for Varina Davis, who asked her to move South with them. You'd love the book, will dig it up.

That's exactly what I was getting at, thank you! A HUGE big deal was made of how much Mary spent on dresses? The thing is( you probably already know this ) it's still common practice for designers and shops to give clothing to people in the public eye. It's free advertising. Mary was no newbie to society and the social scene, she knew how it worked. The anti-Lincoln faction cooked this one up. I forget which company or designer sent staggering bills for dresses she'd understood were part of this agreement.

What's so annoying is, these lavish, uber expensive dresses were singular- society women didn't wear them daily and we have images of Mary Todd NOT in ball gowns. You've seen them- fairly simple garments probably ' day wear ' around town. LoC is packed with ' unknown woman ' and ' Mrs. Parker Smythe ' ( just made her up ) images decked out in their ball gowns, too.

I think there's a thread on this one, the ' strawberry dress '?
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This may have been Keckley's, can't remember. Her designs tended to be more simple, this one lacks the over abundance of frills, ribbons and general frou frou we see in a lot of them.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Some time ago I read the following: THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN by SUSAN B. MARTINEZ PH.D. I found it all very entertaining and I wondering if others have read it and what they felt about it. The Lincolns seemed a match in their outlook and politics plus maybe also on an unrecognized spiritual level unknown to most. I have always supported Mary Todd Lincoln and her strong feelings upon the World and the Supernatural World. Her visions (an Abe's also) have been wrongly used against them.

Everything was used against them. I haven't read that book but will! Guessing Lincoln's famous dream is a chapter? It's not an apocryphal account, the guy really had that dream. There were some very public scandal/debunkings of faux spiritualists, the scammers who used different stage methods to produce effects, not to mention the very famous debunking of spirit photography. But- quite a few persisted and couldn't be debunked.

Yes, I used to go back and forth on this stuff. Not any more. Disbelieving anything based on the fact it just sounds improbable seems silly. Who knows what you'll miss?
 

JPK Huson 1863

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And if she counted on her children to help “fill-in” any emptiness from her husband - that was not meant to be.
IMO, there's been a ton of conjecture over the engagement being broken. The most likely reason would have been family opposition. Mary Todd was not a desperate woman, wrangling to entrap her man. She was a Todd, raised inside what was Southern aristocracy of the time. Lincoln may have been an up-and-coming attorney, he still wasn't of that world. But was it broken at all? Mary's sister states there was only one marriage arranged, the swiftly planned wedding at Edward's home.

Mrs. Wallace, one sister, was interviewed for McClure's.
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Then there's her eulogy, the Lincoln's minister, from Springfield.
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Lincoln had sustained periods of dreadful depression during which Mary carried the household, children, social life, housekeeping. I see a wife committed to her husband, supporting him through some awfully dark times. There are other accounts by Springfield citizens depicting a generally happy, normal family life. Lincoln in his slippers, Mary reading to both of them in the evenings. I seriously have yet to read anything convincing about a lack of love and respect. At the moment Lincoln was murdered he was holding her hand- after 25 years of marriage.

We tend to do this ' thing ' to wives of famous men. Varina Howell Davis was an also-ran, her husband burying his heart with his first wife, Mary Custis Lee was a dried up old stick and a burden. Neither is true. The Davis marriage enduring, Mary Lee the military wife holding that family together through horrendous losses.
 
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wbull1

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The reporter must have followed Mary on her visits to hospitals since Mary never wrote about it or urged others to do what she did spontaneously and anonymously. In her charity, she was also generous and silent. Disregarding Herndon's jealousy and rather purple prose, leaves the romantic relationship between Lincoln and Ann Rutledge very iffy. Friends, yes, anything more? Ann was engaged to another man, although he had left, promising to return and had been out of contact for quite some time.
 

Ole Miss

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Mary Lincoln was ****ed if she did and ****ed if she didn't. The society ladies of DC treated her miserably denying her the comfort of their companionship and the support she so desperately needed. She was the 1st Lady and had to dress accordingy and being shunned by the "Ladies" of DC she had little if any advice and consoling.

I have no idea why certain events and activities cause a woman to act and think a particular way but having been marries 47 1/2 years I KNOW what my wife will do in different circumstances. I know she and other women must converse with others and seek support and validation. Poor Mary was denied all of that by those old biddies of high and polite society.

She had lost a child before moving to DC and in 1862 she lost Willie. My word what that poor woman was enduring while living in the "swamp" of DC. I admire her strength and the fight she made against the world, including her oldest son.
Regards
David
 

John S. Carter

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View attachment 341705
Brady image, LoC . Which Mary is which? That's not a trick question, either. History presents her in such wildly divergent ways there may as well have been two.

Lady of Lincoln, They wreathed her head With thorns when living, With nettles though dead.” MarIon Mills Miller

Just pulled my dyed blond hair out. Discovered yet another ' Biography ' on Mary Todd Lincoln, written not long after her death. I should have guess it'd be yet another thinly disguised take-down. Dedication gushes about help received from Mrs. Robert Todd Lincoln. Mary and her daughter in law were not er, close buddies. Added to the list, each author claiming to have THE definitive take on Mary Todd, biggest bunch of convoluted nonsense, half-truths, manipulated factoids and bandwagon jumping with which we're burdened into 2020.

View attachment 341706
Portion of one outraged letter in a Washington, DC newspaper. Writer had followed her to hospitals, watched her philanthropy, was familiar with Mrs. President's consistent efforts including supporting Elizabeth Keckely's organization dedicated to supporting black war refugees. For every piece of snark and libel printed, you'll find 3 of these. If you look. For whatever reason, don't.

Lincoln ex-law partner William Herndon was irked to be excluded from his ex-partner's trip to Washington. He'd be the noisiest, most intrusive, least truthful ' expert ' on Mary Todd. Snarky kind of guy anyway, Mary once flattened him at a ball, saying he danced like a reptile. That was referring to Herndon's malicious tendencies, this was not a nice guy. His ' expose ' is still sourced, is one huge problem. That William Herndon made a living bullying and pretty well stalking a woman tells it's own tale. I'll always refer to William Herndon as the man Lincoln forgot to punch in the head.

Here's some classic, Herndon, plain old made up stuff. Out of thin air and spite. When Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd rekindled a relationship initially broken off through family pressure, their decision to haul off and be married- as in now- resulted in one of the nicest weddings I've heard of. Sister Elizabeth, 7 months pregnant and friends swung into action. A few friends and relatives witnessed their marriage at the Edward's home. Elizabeth said the wedding cake was placed on the buffet table still warm from the oven. Mary borrowed a dress, their minister officiated.

According to Herndon, Mary was garbed in silk, satin and lace, dripping diamonds, a cardinal officiated in some mythical cathedral ( they were not Catholic, no idea how the cardinal got into the story ). filled with hundreds of society's most gilded citizenry. THAT wedding was apparently the second planned event, according to this misogynist. He also plain, old made up a ' first ' wedding which Lincoln missed on purpose. That so MUCH ugly myth, easily proven to be idiotic made it into 2020 tells me we'd rather believe the worst. No idea why.

NYC invited the President's wife for an official visit- then proceeded to minutely criticize every step taken inside the city. It was a disaster. Furious rebuttals were written and not by she.View attachment 341711


McClure's magazine produced a wonderful, well-researched article refuting the claims of Herndon and others ( including a sister ). They patiently interviewed old friends, social acquaintances, political connections and those who knew the Lincoln family. What happened was, most resented having one of this country's favorite kicking posts removed. You can't find their research anywhere into 2020. It's good stuff and not the only source, either.

She used her position as the Presiden't wife to do a huge amount of good. This is from a Kansas newspaper, story from a DC edition picked up and re-printed. This is only one- dozens like these and do not seem to have made headway against how much more fun it was hack the woman to death.
View attachment 341714

From one of quite a few era works depicting the Lincoln family, she's frequently pictured off to one side or across a table from husband and children. I'm never sure whether or not this one especially signified a sneer- her feet are resting on a pillow, dress obviously lavish. This stuff seeped into our fabric. Funny how ugly stuff always does, isn't it?
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Again. We just don't like taking Mary Todd Lincoln from the list of favorite villains. I'm still hearing the one about why the Grants weren't at Ford's Theater that awful night. The one where Julia refused to attend out of dislike for the President's wife? Really, really nonsense and the thing is, the true story is historically important. The Grants were spooked, made uncomfortable by circumstances Julia plain, old mistrusted. That she followed her instincts means her husband lived to be President and there was one, less tragedy April 14th, 1865. Torquing history to fit agenda is never helpful. Add to that this one misses an awfully important aspect of the assassination that rocked America.

' Lincoln's last reception ', probably retitled from an original designation after his death. I'm not sure who the woman in greeb would be, other faces should look familiar. Mary had supporters inside her husband's administration. Well, maybe not Halleck. He didn't like anyone.
View attachment 341710

Here's a challenge. Instead of posting an extremely long list " Nonsense V Fact ", Mary Todd Lincoln, post whichever unattractive story influences your perspective about her. Promise I won't argue the point, ( unless it's yet another Ann Rutledge claim, they're beginning to make me a little crabby ). but love the chance to dig up the real story. With sources.
I shall make it simple,if there had not been a Mary Todd there may not have been a Abraham Lincoln .As in history of men of ambition there has been women of ambition who may not achieve the same goal as their husbands they are the motivational force that prepal the man into achieving their destiny .Mary Todd granted was to male historians of the times a emotional ,and aggressive woman but then have so has other women who felt denied or taken for granted by men and less ambitious women.Read of women from ancient of days to even today and take note of the skill and diplomacy which these women had to learn to motivate there mates.There is a story that when asked of Augusta if he would meet Cleopatra, he would not risk being number three on her seduction role
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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,if there had not been a Mary Todd there may not have been a Abraham Lincoln
You know, that's one point I can never decide on? That's a good post btw. I think I agree she was sure a driving force- and you know how convoluted all the accounts become after that. There's just so much made-up stuff about her it's REALLY tough figuring out which is true, which has grown from a small seed of truth and which is just nonsense. You know how someone just happened to 'remember' something Mary said when a small girl? Variations of " I want to be the President's wife "? Doubt it, but did that get glued on to her various ' bios ' because she was very helpful in his career?

What you have to love is this popular myth of Southern women as delicate hot house flowers, given to fainting, in need of a strong man and guidance and just clothes horses for a series of gauze ball dresses? I'm sorry but Mary Todd has always seemed awfully typical to me of the real story. Hate to generalize, but really, the whole steel magnolia thing seems based on a lot of factual stuff.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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The society ladies of DC treated her miserably denying her the comfort of their companionship and the support she so desperately needed

Weren't they horrendous? The few who did support her, especially after Lincoln's murder tend to not appear in history's account. The story where those ladies appointed a social coach to walk her through Washington's do's and don't's is true, can you imagine? I've read where they were surprised and offended she was annoyed by this. Mary Todd had been beautifully educated, raised to rub elbows in elite society ( writing that does give me the willies a little because I'm stridently opposed to our still-functioning ' class ' system ) and needed no instructions from anyone. What gets you about it is those women knew exactly who she was and did it anyway?

but having been marries 47 1/2 years I KNOW what my wife will do in different circumstances. I

Why you've been married for 47 1/2 years. Chick world can be really tough, much, much harder from what I've seen than how men interact. Two men who may have differences mostly just ignore each other, women bafflingly begin long, bloody wars. When you discover a peach of a friend, it's like Christmas and you sure hang on to them.
 

John S. Carter

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Weren't they horrendous? The few who did support her, especially after Lincoln's murder tend to not appear in history's account. The story where those ladies appointed a social coach to walk her through Washington's do's and don't's is true, can you imagine? I've read where they were surprised and offended she was annoyed by this. Mary Todd had been beautifully educated, raised to rub elbows in elite society ( writing that does give me the willies a little because I'm stridently opposed to our still-functioning ' class ' system ) and needed no instructions from anyone. What gets you about it is those women knew exactly who she was and did it anyway?




Why you've been married for 47 1/2 years. Chick world can be really tough, much, much harder from what I've seen than how men interact. Two men who may have differences mostly just ignore each other, women bafflingly begin long, bloody wars. When you discover a peach of a friend, it's like Christmas and you sure hang on to them.
I would match a Southern Steel Magnolia to a Yankee merchant's wife.Forgit the myths and read the history of what these ladies endured for four years of war and then the years of hardship of a life of where the population of the male population was of men who returned home damaged by the war both physically and mentally.Women had to assume responsibility which the male was no longer able to of both family and of self.They taught their daughters and they taught theirs to be strong and how to endure what comes by.
 
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wbull1

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I believe Mary was a real partner in Lincoln's political life. She had an astute knowledge of the politicians in Illinois and was devasted when Lincoln lost the Senate race to Stephen A. Douglas. Ambitious women had to live vicariously through their husbands being unable to even vote. She would have been a formidable political opponent, a great debater and a ready wit.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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I believe Mary was a real partner in Lincoln's political life. She had an astute knowledge of the politicians in Illinois and was devasted when Lincoln lost the Senate race to Stephen A. Douglas. Ambitious women had to live vicariously through their husbands being unable to even vote. She would have been a formidable political opponent, a great debater and a ready wit.
Thank you! It's really a shame there's so much nonsense out there about her because her real story is so incredibly enlightening. I'm not sure anyone has been able to do her justice, as in how politically connected she was and how much of a partner she was to Lincoln. You don't get to the top office with a maudlin, whiney, shrewish millstone around your neck.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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I would match a Southern Steel Magnolia to a Yankee merchant's wife.Forgit the myths and read the history of what these ladies endured for four years of war and then the years of hardship of a life of where the population of the male population was of men who returned home damaged by the war both physically and mentally.Women had to assume responsibility which the male was no longer able to of both family and of self.They taught their daughters and they taught theirs to be strong and how to endure what comes by.

No arguments here. No one has to be an advocate of ' Us v. Them ' to see it. In fact, the Us V. Them stuff tends to use these women as foils instead of recognizing their stories. Northern women weren't quite as comprehensively affected although no slouches either, they just weren't in harm's way by virtue of where the war was fought. It's a shame individual stories can't be told without the conversation devolving into some riot about which side done the other wrong.
 
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John S. Carter

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Mar 15, 2017
No arguments here. No one has to be an advocate of ' Us v. Them ' to see it. In fact, the Us V. Them stuff tends to use these women as foils instead of recognizing their stories. Northern women weren't quite as comprehensively affected although no slouches either, they just weren't in harm's way by virtue of where the war was fought. It's a shame individual stories can't be told without the conversation devolving into some riot about which side done the other wrong.
There is on thing that my history professor taught his students,in reading and studying people one can not place them in the world of today they remain where they were.It is like taking a battle and one hundred years afterwards writing what mistakes that the general made in retrospect not knowing the total scene of that situation on that field.The society of one generation can not be evaluated on the one of today that is the result of progress in human being education.Today's historian is placing women's effect upon the previous eras ,to their contributions ,hardships,and diplomacy.in their contribution to human history. As stated Mary Todd is now seen as a major contributor to AL's ambition.Women roles in successes of nations are also being being written of not as side mates but as key individuals who in their own positions.Neglected or as footnotes women are,as with Mary ,women spies during the war,and JD's Virina,have now being honored.As the saying goes"You have come a Long Way" and its time to honor those who brought you here.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Neglected or as footnotes women are,as with Mary ,women spies during the war,and JD's Virina,have now being honored.As the saying goes"You have come a Long Way" and its time to honor those who brought you here.

It IS weird how much there isn't on ' women of the war '. IMO we do this ' thing ' where one or a few famous names get to represent all of them? That's not an effort to put women somewhere they don't belong- it's astonishment this isn't a huger topic. I created a thread trying to document how many nurses died between 1861and 1865? It's TOUGH going and there are almost no accounts of Southern women. We KNOW they died, there's no record of who they were. We know how many horses and mules perished, nurses? Nope.

Yes, don't get me started on the hammering Varina has taken. Gee whiz. Mary Custis, same. All it took to get misrepresented was to marry a famous man.
 
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