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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Edwards, Elizabeth Todd. 'Elizabeth Todd Edwards (William H. Herndon Interview)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon443.html


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332. Elizabeth Todd Edwards (William H. Herndon Interview).

[1865 — 66 [1]]

Mrs N W. Edwards

I am the wife of the Hon N. W. Edwards.: Mr Lincoln married my Sister — Mary. We Came to Springfield about 1835 — My sister Mrs Wallace now Came to live with us about that time. Doct Wallace & her were married in 18___ [2] We had a vacancy in our family by that marriage — wrote to Mary to Come out and make our home her home: She had a Step Mother with whom she did not agree. Marry was born in 1818 — well Educated — taught at a private School in Lexington — Mrs __________ [3] Keeping it.

Mary Came to Illinois about 1838 — Mr Lincoln Commenced Seeing Mary about 1839 & 4 — the winter of 1839 & 40 — directly after Doct Wallace was married — Knew Mr L well — he was a cold Man — had no affection — was not Social — was abstracted — thoughtful. I Knew he was a great man long years Since — Knew he was a rising Man and nothing Else modifying this, desired Mary at first to Marry L. L. Could not hold a lengthy Conversation with a lady — was not sufficiently Educated & intelligent in the female line to do so — He was charmed with Mary's wit and fascinated with her quick sagacity — her will — her nature — and Culture — I have happened in the room where they were sitting often & often and Mary led the Conversation — Lincoln would listen & gaze on her as if drawn by some Superior power, irresistably So: he listened — never Scarcely Said a word. I did not in a little time think that Mr L. & Mary were Suitable to Each other & so Said to Mary. Mary was quick, lively, gay — frivalous it may be, Social and loved glitter Show & pomp & power. She was an Extremely Ambitious woman and in Ky often & often Contended that She was destined to be the wife of some future President — Said it in my presence in Springfield and Said it in Earnest. Mr Speed Came to See Miss Matilda Edwards — left & went to Ky — Miss Edwards Staying. Mr Lincoln loved Mary — he went Crazy in my own opinion — not because he loved Miss Edwards as Said, but because he wanted to marry and doubted his ability & Capacity to please and support a wife. Lincoln & Mary were Engaged — Every thing was ready & prepared for the marriage — Even to the Supper &c — . Mr L failed to meet his Engagement — Cause insanity. In his

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Edwards, Elizabeth Todd. 'Elizabeth Todd Edwards (William H. Herndon Interview)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon443.html
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