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Wilson, Douglas L., ed; Davis, Rodney O., ed. 'Register of Informants' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: history]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon737.html


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Lincoln, Mary Todd (1818-82).

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, of an aristocratic family and well educated, Mary Todd left home in 1839 to live in Springfield with her sister Elizabeth (Mrs. Ninian

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W. Edwards). After a troubled engagement that was interrupted for a year and a half, she married AL on November 4, 1842. Though a devoted wife and mother, MTL had a volatile personality and a hot temper. Many of AL's friends, including WHH, considered AL's domestic life unhappy, but WHH also insisted that he sympathized with MTL because, as he told his collaborator, the "domestic hell of Lincoln's life is not all on one side." MTL's undisguised ambition for her husband was credited by some of these same friends as an important ingredient in his political success. During AL's presidency, MTL gave special attention to White House social affairs but was widely resented for her extravagance, her Southern background, and for meddling in affairs of state. Divided loyalties within her own family and particularly the death of her son Willie contributed to her emotional instability, which, following AL's assassination, became pronounced. In 1875 she was judged incompetent and briefly committed to a sanitarium in Batavia, Illinois. She died in Springfield at the home of her sister Elizabeth. (Dictionary of American Biography; WHH to JWW, January 9, 1886, in Hertz)

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed; Davis, Rodney O., ed. 'Register of Informants' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: history]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon737.html
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