Mary Todd Lincoln
Born: December 13, 1818 at Lexington, Kentucky
Died: July 16, 1882 (aged 63) at Springfield, Illinois
Spouse: Abraham Lincoln (m. 1842 – 1865)
Children: Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Baker Lincoln, William Wallace Lincoln, Tad Lincoln
First Lady of the United States (1861 – 1865)
Facts about Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln shared a love of literature and politics and a strong dislike for slavery. After Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States, Mary Lincoln was criticized for her extravagant spending habits.
Mary Todd Lincoln was a supporter of the Freedman’s Bureau, an organization which helped find housing, education and employment for freed African-American slaves. Her temper and frequent demands, however, led even Lincolns loyal secretary John Hay to call her “”the hellcat.””
After Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Mary Lincoln did not take part in the funeral for her husband. She mourned in the White House where she remained for 40 more days. Mary Todd Lincoln was the first presidential wife to be called “”First Lady”” in newspapers such as the Times in London.
After living through three of her son’s deaths and her husband’s assassination, she became severely depressed. She died alone in her sister’s house in Springfield, the same one she married her husband in forty years earlier. In 1875, ten years after the death of her husband, her sole surviving son, Robert, committed her to an insane asylum. She was released three months later, but never forgave him for the betrayal.
During her White House years, she often visited hospitals around Washington to give flowers and fruit to wounded soldiers. She took the time to write letters for them to send to their loved ones.
Mary Todd Lincoln Childhood
One of most unpopular first ladies in American history, Mary Todd Lincoln was born into a prominent family in Lexington, Kentucky a town her family had helped found on December 13, 1818. Mary grew up wealthy; her father, Robert Todd, was a successful merchant and a politician.
Lincoln lost her mother when she was only 6 years old. Her father soon remarried, and her strict stepmother had little regard for Lincoln. Despite whatever ill will existed between her and her stepmother, Lincoln received a remarkable education for a young girl during this time period. She studied at a local academy and then attended boarding school.
In the late 1830’s, Lincoln left home to be with her sister, Elizabeth Edwards, in Springfield, Illinois. There the smart, outgoing young woman attracted a number of admirers, including Stephen Douglas and up-and-coming politician and lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. Her family did not approve of the match Abraham was nine years older than Mary, had little formal education and came from a poor background.
Where is Mary Todd Lincoln buried?
She was interred in the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield alongside her husband. She was buried with her wedding ring still bearing the inscription from her husband that said “”Love is Eternal””.
How did Mary Todd Lincoln die?
On July 16, 1882, she collapsed at her sister’s home, lapsed into a coma, and died that same day at age 63.