The Lincolns: The Lives and Legacies of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln - Charles River Editors

The Lincolns: The Lives and Legacies of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln

By Charles River Editors

  • Release Date: 2012-09-10
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4 Score: 4 (From 11 Ratings)


*Includes pictures of the Lincolns and important people, places, and events in their lives.
*Includes Bibliographies on both Abraham and Mary for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) is one of the most famous Americans in history and one of the country’s most revered presidents. Schoolchildren can recite the life story of Lincoln, the “Westerner” who educated himself and became a self made man, rising from lawyer to leader of the new Republican Party before becoming the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln successfully navigated the Union through the Civil War but didn’t live to witness his crowning achievement, becoming the first president assassinated when he was shot at Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. 

It’s possible that the world would have remembered Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) if only because she was the wife of one of America’s greatest presidents and present for his shocking assassination, but Mary was one of the most unique women to ever be First Lady, and she was in the White House during the country’s most trying time. But history hasn’t exactly been kind. 
Mary was dealt a tough hand that might have made it impossible for her to ever be popular. The Civil War erupted a month after President Lincoln took office, and Mary was a native Southerner who had relatives fighting for the Confederacy. Making matters worse, Mary seemed out of touch with the times, organizing lavish balls at a time when the country was literally coming apart at the seams. As if the external pressure wasn’t trying enough, young Willie Lincoln died in the White House in 1862, sending Mary into such fits of grief that she might have never fully recovered from even before her husband’s assassination and the death of Tad in 1881. 

Unfortunately, one of the things most associated with Mary is insanity. Having dealt with so much death, and already a superstitious woman to begin with, Mary was eventually institutionalized by her eldest son Robert, the only Lincoln child to reach adulthood. With her death in 1882, the perception of her as a generally out of touch, troubled woman was set. 

When the assassination of President Lincoln ensured him a near mythical status in American history, everything about his life was treated with a fine-tooth comb by historians and the general public, and his relationship and marriage to Mary is often at the forefront of the discussions. Some historians view Mary as a sympathetic, loving wife who helped pull her husband out of spells of depression. Others think Lincoln never really loved her and married her more out of convenience than anything. Was Mary one of the great inspirations behind Lincoln as he relaunched his political career in the 1850s, or was she a liability? To a great extent, historians still clash over Mary’s legacy, and there are still many bones of contention regarding their marriage.

The Lincolns explores the lives of Abraham and Mary, as well as the nature and controversies of their marriage, humanizing the gangly frontiersman and the Southern belle. Along with pictures of Abraham, Mary and important people, places, and events in their lives, you will learn about the Lincolns like you never have before.