|Springfield, IL||August 20, 2004|
Mary Lincoln’s life has been subjected to much analysis, with the nature of the conclusions and responses dependent on the sources. There is no denying Lincoln had a tumultuous existence: motherless at age six; a courtship and marriage that could be both harmonious and turbulent; siblings taking up arms to preserve slavery and separate the states while her husband — President Abraham Lincoln — worked to keep the nation stitched together; and the premature deaths of her spouse by assassination and their three youngest children by illness, after which her only surviving son had her institutionalized. Some people have scorned the first lady as selfish and out of touch for her White House behaviors. Others have sympathized with her for her significant grief and perceived mental illness. And then there are those who have viewed her as a victim of a one-sided patriarchal perspective. Two things not up for debate are that the former Mary Todd was a fascinating individual, and that she is entombed with the family members who predeceased her at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Lincoln’s adoptive hometown of Springfield, Illinois.
Sources Consulted and Further Reading