Mary Lincoln: The Last Sad Years

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Presidential History Blog

mary in mourning The Widow Mary Lincoln

In late 1880, Mary Lincoln, no longer able to live on her own, left Europe and returned to live with her sister in Springfield, Illinois. She was sixty-one.

The Widow Lincoln in Exile

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April, 1865, the effects on the country would be far-reaching. So would the effects on his widow, who was 46 at the time. Her emotional health had always been fragile. She frightened easily, had submerged herself into the Victorian mode of perpetual mourning, and could barely cope with the realities of her situation.

mary in mourning Mary Lincoln would never be the same after her husband’s assassination.

At the time of Lincoln’s death, Mary Lincoln had already lost two sons; one at three years, the other at eleven. She would lose another son at eighteen, and her sole surviving son would be lost to her by estrangement. Despite coming from…

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