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Happy and energetic in her youth, she suffered subsequent ill health and personal tragedies and behaved erratically in her later years. Mary Todd was the daughter of Robert Smith Todd, a prosperous businessman, and Eliza Parker Todd, who came from a distinguished and well-connected family. Mary was given an excellent education for a young woman of her time, and she later boasted about how well she had learned French. After her mother died inher father remarried, and Mary, who despised her stepmother, spent more time with her grandmother.
In she enrolled in boarding school. Mary became first lady on the eve of the Civil War. Her position was a difficult one given her Southern birth and the fact that some of her relatives including her half brothers were fighting for the Confederacy. Her gracious performance as hostess drew initial praise, but she was later criticized for extravagant spending on her wardrobe and on White House furnishings, which caused her husband considerable distress.
The death of her second son, Willie, in of typhoid fever added to her strain, and reports began to circulate about her irrational behaviour.
The assassination of President Lincoln in Aprilwhich she witnessed, was nearly more than she could bear. At about this time she developed a powerful and lasting delusion that she was in dire poverty, though she continued to buy extravagantly. The wide public credence given the claim of William H. In she traveled to Europe with her youngest son and lived for a time in Germany and England.
She considered the sum inadequate, however, and continued to believe that she was poor. Inshortly after her return to Chicago, her youngest son, Thomas Taddied. In her eldest and only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincolnarranged for a hearing on her sanity, which resulted in her confinement for several months in a private sanatorium in Batavia, Illinois. A second hearing in reversed the earlier finding of insanity and ended her confinement but left her publicly humiliated. She spent the next four years in Europe, returning Married wife Lincoln late to Springfield, where she remained in declining health until her death in She was buried beside her husband at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.
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Some of them frowned upon her association with Lincoln, and from time to time he, too, doubted whether he…. Abraham Lincoln: Reputation and character of Abraham Lincoln. As for his wife, Mary Todd Lincolnshe married him out of spite, then devoted herself Married wife Lincoln making him miserable.
So Herndon would have it, and after him countless biographers, novelists, and playwrights elaborated upon his views, which persist as accepted knowledge about Lincoln despite their refutation by historical…. Mary Todd Lincoln —65the wife of Abraham Lincoln, though insecure in a visible role, prevailed on her husband to grant favours to friends and hangers-on.
Julia Grant —77the wife of Ulysses S. Grant, was an extravagant and popular hostess during the Gilded Age…. History at your fingertips. up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! address. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.Married wife Lincoln
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Lincoln’s Lessons for Enduring a Difficult Marriage