Betsey Humphreys: Mary Lincoln’s Wicked Stepmother

Presidential History Blog

One of the earliest photographs of Mary Lincoln.

When Mary Lincoln was seven, she and her five siblings lost their mother.

The Todd Marriage…and Remarriage

Robert Smith Todd (1791-1849) was 21 when he married Eliza Parker. Every indication was that it was a marriage of inclination. They liked each other and wanted to marry. Every further indication is that the marriage was a happy one.

Robert Smith Todd, Mary Lincoln’s father

Robert Todd, a third generation Lexington, KY gentleman, was a lawyer, planter, businessman and state legislator, like many men of his generation. Also like many men of his generation, including his neighbor Henry Clay, he enjoyed his whiskey, cigars and cards.

Eliza Parker (1794-1825) was a local girl, raised to be decorous, well mannered and trained to manage a slave-holding household. She bore seven children in twelve years.  Elizabeth, Frances, Levi, Mary, Ann and George. Another died at…

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