American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Mary Todd Lincoln

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Mrs. Lincoln: A Life by Catherine Clinton [book review]   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Mrs. Lincoln - the very title of Catherine Clinton's biography signals a portrait of a woman noteworthy only as the wife of a great man. Moreover, "while Abraham Lincoln became immortal in the American imagination, Mary Lincoln would become infamous." As First Lady, she was suspected of being a Confederate spy, made fun for attending spiritualist sessions and criticized for extravagant shopping. As First Widow, she was viewed as mentally disturbed and was committed to a mental asylum by her son. Generations of biographers, historians and history buffs have portrayed her as everything from nagging First Virago to persecuted First Victim.

Mary Todd Lincoln - New biographies give the first lady her due   (Article no longer available from the original source)
As American first ladies go, Mary Todd Lincoln was unique. She was believed in ghosts, shopped lavishly and spent double the budget for refurbishing the White House. Later her son would have her declared insane. But this well-educated and politically sharp woman is getting attention with the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. "The Madness of Mary Lincoln" by Jason Emerson, is an examination of her illness based on newly discovered letters -- Stephen Barry's "The House of Abraham: Lincoln & the Todds, A Family Divided by War" explores the Civil War split between Mary and some of her siblings.

Mary Todd Lincoln: An unforgettable first lady   (Article no longer available from the original source)
According to Abraham Lincoln biographers, various biographies of Mary Todd Lincoln and an exhibit at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Ill., Mrs. Lincoln was a woman of dubious reputation. Hard times came upon the family when young William (Willie) died in 1862. In 1863, she was thrown to the ground in a carriage mishap and struck her head on a rock. Two of Mary`s half-brothers and a brother-in-law were killed fighting for the Confederates. To relieve her grief Mary was encouraged to contact her loved ones through spiritualism. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot at Ford`s Theatre. Mary held his hand until he died.

Lincoln in-laws who fought for the Confederacy - House of Abraham by Stephen Berry
The Civil War was not only the bloodiest era in American history, but for Abraham Lincoln, it was a painful family quarrel as well. "House of Abraham" tells the story of how the Todds, his wife's family, became Lincoln's own family and reflected the miseries of the conflict. Mrs. Lincoln's sister married an officer who rose to be a Confederate general, after refusing Lincoln's offer of a post in the Union army. When he was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga, Emilie called her sister and was taken into the White House. A Union general complained about the situation. Lincoln first tried to make a joke of it. The general, who had lost a leg at Gettysburg, got mad.

Extremely rare photo of Abraham Lincoln, Wife to be Auctioned
A rare photograph featuring President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is heading to the auction block. The pre-Civil War ambrotype was created with a photographic process that was used in the early 1850s. The photo can be traced back to the home of Union Civil War General Joshua Chamberlain. The image is directly on the glass and can be viewed because of the black paper behind it in the frame. It is the only known photograph of Lincoln and his wife together. A third figure in the picture is Elizabeth Todd Edwards, Mary Todd Lincoln's sister.

Abraham Lincoln's Illinois tomb vandalized
Vandals destroyed a 100-year-old urn at the Springfield, Ill., tomb of Abraham Lincoln during New Year's weekend. The concrete urn, a decorative replica of the original dated to the early 20th century, was pushed off the edge of the receiving vault at the tomb, where it fell and shattered. Lincoln's tomb was built 1869-1874 and is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd, and 3 of the couple's 4 sons. The tomb has been the target of vandalism before, once in 1987 and again in 1997, at which point then-Governor Jim Edgar ordered 24-hour monitoring of the tomb.

Letters believed lost sheds light on madness of Mary Lincoln
In August 1875, after spending 3 months in a sanitarium, put there by her son against her will, Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the martyred President, wrote: "It does not appear that God is good, to have placed me here..." This letter, along with 24 others, completely unknown and unpublished, was discovered in a steamer trunk owned by the children of Robert Todd Lincoln`s attorney. They are known as the "lost" insanity letters of Mary Lincoln, and their discovery will forever rewrite this famous—and infamous—chapter in the Lincoln-family history.