Beautiful lady Lincoln

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Mary Todd Lincoln, the most criticized and misunderstood first lady, experienced more than her share of tragedy during her lifetime.

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From the time she was six, her life took a melancholy turn from which she never recovered. She suffered from depressive episodes and migraine headaches throughout her life and turned to squandering money on lavish gowns and frivolous accessories during the white house year in hopes of finding relief from the void deep within.

During the Civil War, both North and South called her a traitor and seldom was a kind word printed about her by the press. If we examine her early years, her most impressionable years, we become enlightened and can find compassion for the woman who was the wife of the 16th president of the United States. Preceding her in birth was her eldest sister Elizabeth, followed by her sister Francis.

At that time, Lexington was a rugged frontier town that had been founded by a handful of men that included Mary Ann's grandfathers Robert Parker and Levi Todd, as well as her great uncles Robert and John Todd. Her father, a Whig politician and storeowner, adequately provided for his family. In his early years, he'd studied to be a lawyer and was later admitted to the Kentucky bar; however, he never practiced law due to the fact there were already too many lawyers in Kentucky.

Although the Todds rejected the idea of slavery, they owned one slave for every member of the family. Mary was especially fond of the slave Mammy Sally. Her anti-slavery views developed very early in her life and she was extremely proud and pleased when she learned that Mammy Sally was integral in helping escaped slaves make it to the Ohio River.

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Her anti-slavery views grew to match those of her father who supported the KY Colonization Society in its efforts to send the freed slave to Liberia. He freely discussed his dislike of slave-selling and opposed efforts to open KY slave markets to out-of-state imports. He believed slavery prevented Lexington from growing commercially. Regardless, his lifestyle contradicted his beliefs: he was a slaveholder in an antislavery family in a slave state.

Eliza became pregnant within a short amount of time after Mary Ann's birth, this time giving birth to a long-awaited son named Levi. Another son Robert Parker soon followed, but didn't survive past 14 months. A daughter Ann was born around the time Mary Ann was three years old and in order to avoid confusion between the two daughters, Mary Ann's name was shortened to Mary.

A second son George Rogers Clark Todd was born inbringing the total of the Todd clan to six children. George's birth had taken its toll on Eliza and she became deathly ill. In Julythree doctors were summoned to the Todd house to try to save her life. Their attempts proved futile and she passed away at the age of 31, leaving Robert with six children to provide care. Mary, only six years old, was crushed by the death of her mother.

Before she had time to mourn the loss, her father shocked her and her siblings when proposed marriage just six months later to Elizabeth "Betsey" Humphreys. Betsey accepted the proposal, but found repeated excuses to postpone the wedding. She was in no hurry to become mother to Robert's six children. The Todd household took a turn for the worse after the wedding and rooms that were once filled with Eliza's love for her children were now filled with the rantings and ravings of a stepmother who strongly disliked her husband's children.

Mary's older sister Elizabeth stepped forward and assumed the role of "mother" to Mary and the younger children. Even so, Betsey was becoming increasingly miserable in the Todd home and never failed to express it. And each new year brought another Todd into the world.

In total, Betsey and Robert added nine more children to their brood. Mary Todd Lincoln Although Robert was a distant father and seldom home, he was concerned that each of his daughters receive a good education. She spent the subsequent five years at Shelby where she was a model student. She studied reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, history, geography, natural science, French and religion—which may seem like a lot, but in actuality, the boys were taught more.

It was considered unacceptable at the time for women to be overly educated—lest they scare off any possibly suitors. Mary excelled academically and found a sense of peace and order in her otherwise chaotic world. She invested most of her time and energy on her schooling, probably because it allowed her to escape the miseries at home. Inat age 14, Mary graduated from Wards and whereas most girls would have been satisfied with such an education, Mary was not.

There, she thrived. She participated in French plays, parlor dances, and marched in local parades. She enjoyed acting and found pleasure in mimicking those around her. Of course, those being mimicked rarely found pleasure in this talent. But it did bring her attention—attention she desired much of her young life. In addition to acting, she was fluent in French and was quickly developing an interest in politics.

Like her father, she was a confirmed Whig. Many families left the area and of those that remained, hundreds lost their lives. Toward the last there were not even coffins. Father had all the trunks and boxes taken out of the attic to serve as coffins. Mary was considered by those who knew her to be warm-hearted, save her penchant for mimicking others.

She was an excellent conversationalist and many noted her ambitious nature. She rarely kept her thoughts hidden and was not one for idle chit chat.

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She spoke her mind freely in a time when women were discouraged from doing so. Her father was proud of her and desired to spend more time with her as he aged. In the summer ofshe made the decision to trail her older sisters to Springfield, IL. Elizabeth had married former Illinois state attorney general Ninian Edwards and was happily situated in the frontier town.

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Francis saw the move as her chance to flee the Todd home and she ed Elizabeth and her husband. Mary, feeling restless and wanting to experience life, chose this path as well. She was happily received by everyone and found the attention stimulating. She became well-known for her ability to hold her own in parlor discussions over the Whigs and the Democrats.

In the same rugged, unsettled town was newcomer Abraham Lincoln whose appointment to the 9th Illinois assembly brought him to Springfield. He was an awkward-looking man and was described as a non-church goer and a loner. Lincoln, himself, described this time in his life as the loneliest he could recall.

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Whereas Lincoln was lonely that summer, Mary was having the social time of her life. She was disappointed when the summer came to an end and reluctantly made her way back to Lexington. When she returned to Lexington, she found most of her friends were married or preparing their weddings.

This opened the door for Mary to return to Illinois. She hastily packed her backs and made the return to Springfield where she would spend the next 22 years. Mercy, much more proper and rigid than Mary, would become her most treasured confidante.

Once, the two girls decided to journey into town after heavy rainfall left the ro thick with mud. Mary devised a plan to prevent their slippers and gowns from becoming mud-soaked.

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They each carried with them wooden shingles that they placed down on the mud to accommodate each step. This worked on the journey to town, but the shingles were useless on the return and the two girls found themselves mud-soaked from the knees down.

It was thought by the town that Douglas had proposed to Mary at one point, but no one knew for certain. I shall become Mrs. President, or I am the victim of false prophets, but it will not be as Mrs. But the two did strike up a friendship. Although Mary wanted to be guided by her heart, she also had criteria concerning a potential mate.

suitors Stephen Douglas and Edwin Webb were both rising politicians at the time. Elizabeth, although she, too, did not approve of Lincoln, often invited him to their home where he and Mary would sit in the parlor and talk.

Lincoln feared he would not make enough money to provide Mary with the life she was accustomed to and Mary feared giving up control of her life to a husband. Lincoln were not suitable. Edwards and myself believed they were different in nature, and education and raising.

They had no feelings alike.

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They were so different that they could not live happily as man and wife. Elizabeth, having spent two years trying to create a rift between the two, rejoiced when on January 1,Mary and Lincoln went their separate ways after an argument. Apparently, Lincoln was to escort Mary to a party and was late in arriving, so she left without him.

He finally showed up only to find her flirting with Edwin Webb. That evening, a fuming Lincoln ended their relationship. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forbode I shall not.

Beautiful lady Lincoln

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Mary Todd Lincoln