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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Lincoln, Mary Todd. 'Mary Todd Lincoln (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=herndon359.html


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254. Mary Todd Lincoln (William H. Herndon Interview) [1].

[September 1866]

Mrs Lincoln's Conversation in substance with me at the St Nicholas Hotel — She Said — "I [was] born in 1823 [2] in Lexington Fayette Co Ky [on] the 13th day of Decr — daughter of Eliza. S. Todd Maiden name Eliza S. Parker [two words illegible] [My m]other died when I was very young — was [educ]ated by Mdme Mentelle — a French lady — opp[osite] Mr Clays: She was well Educated — was French, Spoke nothing Else — not allowed to — finished my Education at Mrs Wards accademy. People from the North visited Lexington — went to School here. I Came to Ills in 1837 — was in Illinois 3 Months — went to school two years after I Came to Illinois in Ky. I returned to Ills in 1839 or 40. This was after Mrs Wallace came out.

My husband intended when he was through with his Presidential terms to take me and family to Europe — didn't in late years dream of death — was cheery — funny — in high Spirits. He intended to return & go to California over the Rocky Mountains and see the prospects of the soldiers &c. &c digging [out] gold to pay the National debt. He and Sumner were like boys during his last days — They were down on the River after Richmond was taken: they acted like boys — were so glad the war was over. Mr Lincoln up to 1865 wanted to live in Springfield and be buried there — Changed his notion where to live — never settled on any place particularly — intended moving & travelling some

Mr Lincoln was the Kindest Man — Most tender Man & loving husband & father in the world: he gave us all unbounded liberty — Said to me always when I asked him for anything — "You Know what you want — go and get it": he [never] asked me if it was necessary: he was very — indulgent to his children — chided or prais[ed them] for it — their acts — : he always said "It [is my] pleasure that my children are free — happy & unrestrained by parental tyranny. Love is the chain whereby to Lock a child to its parents"

I have none of my literary scraps — poems — Compositions &c, Except I Know the Shields poetry

Mr Lincoln had a dream when down the River at City point after Richmond was taken: he dreamed that the white House burned up — Sent me up the River — went — Met Stanton &c. Mr Lincoln told me to get a party and Come back. I did so.

Mr Lincoln found out that Mr N W Edwards — his Bro-in-law was stealing, as he thought — intended to turn him out. My husband placed great Confidence in My Knowledge of human Nature: he had not much Knowledge of men

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Lincoln, Mary Todd. 'Mary Todd Lincoln (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=herndon359.html
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