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Mary Todd Lincoln Synopsis Breviate
Mary Todd Lincoln was born to a prominent family in Lexington, Kentucky in 1818. Highly educated, capricious, and politically savvy, Lincoln was, by all accounts, never boring. She met Abraham Lincoln during a stay at her sister's, Mrs. Ninian Edwards, home in Springfield, Illinois. Mr. Lincoln, ten years her senior, was taken by her blue eyes, fair skin, passion, wit, charm, and feistiness. He proposed marriage and she accepted. Deemed by the Edwardses an unsuitable match for the wealthy southern belle, Mr. Lincoln soon felt the pressure to call off the wedding, but true love won out and the two were married in 1842. Their marriage was fruitful; four sons were born to them. Lincoln filled her days indulging her sons, encouraging her husband's political ambitions, and working at her church. These years would be the happiest of Lincoln's life. When she became First Lady, she rose to the occasion with finesse and, some believed, too much style. Exceeding the decorating budget set by congress for the White House and presiding over expensive banquets in war-time, Mary began to lose the favor of the people. Her southern origins did nothing to help the people's perceptions of her, and she was at one point accused of being a Confederate spy. The pressure of war, slander, and suspicion strained her marriage and her own mental stability. When her son Willie died of fever, Lincoln was inconsolable. After witnessing her husband's assassination, she left the White House a broken woman. Dogged by fear of poverty and the death of her husband and three youngest sons, Lincoln was so aggrieved that her eldest and only remaining son had her committed to an asylum for her own protection. Rescued within two months by her sister, Lincoln eventually lived out her days with the Edwardses. She died of paralysis in 1882.