Mary Todd – A lucky woman

This is just pure reflection. Of course having listened to the lectures and read the additional documents, watched the guest speakers, etc. Lincoln is on my mind. I love him. I think I am one of his biggest fans. I think of what it must have been like to be married to such an extraordinary man. I imagine their dinner conversations or even private conversations when they retire for the evening, and I am envious of such a lucky woman to be able to actually just listen to Abraham. However, like many married women, Mary did a lot of “retail therapy” to try to make herself happy because she was apparently not so. I guess, sadly for my romantic side, the Lincolns did not share a relationship like the Adams. What a missed opportunity. I imagine the President when he finally relaxes at night, if he was able to, sharing his real and private thoughts with his wife. How amazing would that be? I believe and am totally convinced that Lincoln ALWAYS hated slavery. He said so himself. I believe the war was about slavery. He said it in the Second Inaugural Address and I believe it was ALWAYS about slavery. Of course it was also about preserving the Union. Lincoln loved this experiement in government and could not stand the idea that it could fail. But he also hated slavery. Was he racist? Perhaps to some degree – especially by today’s standards, however he evolved like all of us do as we learn more and have more life experiences. I think we often, especially in elementary levels, see students who just think of Lincoln as a good honest president who freed the slaves. But he was SO much more than that. He was shrewd. He was brilliant. He was a great politician and he seemed to know exactly when to say what to achieve the results he really wanted. I am so glad we have awesome historians who dig deep into subjects and then share the knowledge they acquire. It makes me feel like I know Abraham Lincoln just a little bit.

Posted in Discussion
2 comments on “Mary Todd – A lucky woman
  1. Elizabeth says:

    Have you read “Lincoln on Black and White” by Arthur Zilversmit? It raises many of the questions you raise on race versus union (but as a collection of documents). You might enjoy it. – Elizabeth

  2. aforss says:

    Liked your thoughtful musings about Mrs. Lincoln. Can’t even start thinking about their private conversations, although I doubt they all begin with clever statements like, “four score….”

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House Divided Project

Course Professor
Matthew Pinsker:
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013

Course Producer
Lance Warren:
Gilder Lehrman Institute
New York, NY 10036