First Ladies: The Life and Legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln - Charles River Editors

First Ladies: The Life and Legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln

By Charles River Editors

  • Release Date: 2012-10-14
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4 Score: 4 (From 15 Ratings)


*Includes pictures of Mary and important people, places, and events in her life.
*Explains Mary's reputation and legacy as a First Lady, including her role as an entertainer and her issues with spending.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents

American presidents have shaped the course of global affairs for generations, but as the saying goes, behind every great man there’s a great woman. While the First Ladies often remain overshadowed by their husbands, some have carved unique niches in their time and left their own lasting legacy. Dolley Madison helped establish the role of the First Lady in the early 1800s, Eleanor Roosevelt gave voice to policy issues in a way that made her a forerunner of First Ladies like Hillary Clinton, and Jackie Kennedy created glamorous trends that made her more popular than her husband. In Charles River Editors’ First Ladies series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives and legacies of America’s most famous First Ladies in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. 

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. 

First Ladies: The Life and Legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln looks at Mary’s turbulent life and the tragedies she was forced to endure, but it also humanizes her in an attempt to portray a more objective and comprehensive picture. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Mary Todd Lincoln like you never have before, in no time at all.