Mary Todd Lincoln

Born December 13, 1818 Lexington, Kentucky Died July 16, 1882 Chicago, Illinois

Wife of President Abraham Lincoln Faced criticism and endured tragedy as first lady of the Union during the Civil War

Mary Todd Lincoln had a difficult job as first lady during the Civil War. She had to support her husband through stressful times and defend him against his opponents. She also faced a great deal of criticism herself for her expensive tastes and quick temper. Outwardly, she was well-equipped to deal with the job of first lady. After all, she came from a prominent family and had been a popular hostess in Lincoln's home state of Illinois. Inwardly, however, she struggled with fears and depression that only grew worse with the untimely death of her husband in 1865. Her battle with mental illness after the war made her a tragic figure.

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