Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly

Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly

The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between A First Lady and A Former Slave

Book - 2003
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A vibrant social history set against the backdrop of the Antebellum south and the Civil War that recreates the lives and friendship of two exceptional women: First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her mulatto dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckly.

"I consider you my best living friend," Mary Lincoln wrote to Elizabeth Keckly in 1867, and indeed theirs was a close, if tumultuous, relationship. Born into slavery, mulatto Elizabeth Keckly was Mary Lincoln's dressmaker, confidante, and mainstay during the difficult years that the Lincolns occupied the White House and the early years of Mary's widowhood. But she was a fascinating woman in her own right, Lizzy had bought her freedom in 1855 and come to Washington determined to make a life for herself. She was independent and already well-established as the dressmaker to the Washington elite when she was first hired by Mary Lincoln upon her arrival in the nation's capital. Mary Lincoln hired Lizzy in part because she was considered a "high society" seamstress and Mary, as an outsider in Washington's social circles, was desperate for social cachet. With her husband struggling to keep the nation together, Mary turned increasingly to her seamstress for companionship, support, and advice--and over the course of those trying years, Lizzy Keckly became her confidante and closest friend.

Historian Jennifer Fleischner allows us to glimpse the intimate dynamics of this unusual friendship for the first time, and traces the pivotal events that enabled these two women to forge such an unlikely bond at a time when relations between blacks and whites were tearing the nation apart. Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly is a remarkable work of scholarship that explores the legacy of slavery and sheds new light on the Lincoln White House.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780767902595
0767902599
9780767902588
0767902580
Branch Call Number: 973.7 L63801f 2003
Characteristics: 372 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map, ports. ; 25 cm

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