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Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States.
With a habit of excessive spending, Mary Todd Lincoln began to accept bribes from Government officials to pay off her debts in return for her influential over Abraham Lincoln.
After moving into The White House, Mary Todd Lincoln began to redecorate.
The topic of the Lincoln's marriage continues to divide historians across the board.
Mary Todd Lincoln was one of Springfield, Illinois' most sought after socialites. When she heard of Abraham Lincoln and his rise to political power, she intended to meet and marry him.
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Mary Todd Lincoln was born on December 13, 1818, in Lexington, Kentucky. She married politician and lawyer Abraham Lincoln on November 4, 1842. When the Civil War began, Mary's family supported the South, but she remained a fervent Unionist. After her husband's assassination, Mary fell into a deep depression and her surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, had her temporarily committed. She died in 1882.
One of most unpopular first ladies in American history, Mary Todd Lincoln was born into a prominent family in Lexington, Kentucky—a town her family had helped found—on December 13, 1818. Mary grew up wealthy; her father, Robert Todd, was a successful merchant and a politician. Lincoln lost her mother when she was only 6 years old. Her father soon remarried, and her strict stepmother had little regard for Lincoln. Despite whatever ill will existed between her and her stepmother, Lincoln received a remarkable education for a young girl during this time period. She studied at a local academy and then attended boarding school.
In the late 1830s, Lincoln left home to be with her sister, Elizabeth Edwards, in Springfield, Illinois. There the smart, outgoing young woman attracted a number of admirers, including Stephen Douglas and up-and-coming politician and lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. Her family did not approve of the match—Abraham was nine years older than Mary, had little formal education and came from a poor background. But Mary and Abraham shared a love of politics and literature and seemed to deeply love each other. The couple married on November 4, 1842, and nine months later, their first son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was born.
In 1846, the Lincolns welcomed their second son, Edward. Mary Todd Lincoln proved to be a staunch supporter of her husband's political career. She offered him advice, hosted events and sought recommendations for him as he worked on advancing his career in public life. When he won his Congressional seat, Mary set tongues a-wagging when she decided to accompany him to Washington for part of his term. The Lincolns seemed to be quite the team. When he learned that he had won the presidential election in 1860, he ran home yelling "Mary, Mary, we are elected," according to White House Studies.
In November 1860, Abraham Lincoln 's election as the 16th President of the United States caused 11 Southern states to secede from the Union. Most Kentuckians from the Todd's social circle, and indeed her stepfamily, supported the Southern cause, but Mary was a fervent and tireless supporter of the Union. Widely disliked in the White House, Mary Todd Lincoln was emotional and outspoken and spent lavishly during a time when budgets were tight to fight the Civil War. Some even accused her of being a Confederate spy.
Mary Todd Lincoln's time in the White House was also marked by tragedy. The couple had already lost one son, Edward, in 1850, when typhoid fever struck their third son William. William, better known as "Willie," died in 1862, and Mary was overcome by grief for a long time.
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