Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mrs. Lincoln

I love this picture of Mary Todd Lincoln. She was reported to be such a beauty in her youth, yet all I had ever seen were pictures of her in her later years where she seemed so unhappy. What a vision of loveliness she is in this photograph. It is hard to believe that photographs that old are in existence.

I am still reading the book Mary by Janis Cooke Newman. I am getting more and more enthralled with Mrs. Lincoln as I go along. This book is a novel; so I am hoping that what I am reading is mostly true. I will have to do some non-fiction reading about Mrs. Lincoln soon. As far as I can tell from the novel, we have Mary Todd Lincoln to thank for urging her husband to run for President. She really motivated and pushed him forward.

"The marriage was one of mutual support and affection yet was always rocky. Both considered it a partnership of equals ... Had Mary not encouraged Lincoln in his quest for the presidency, he would almost certainly never have achieved the office." Source: Doranne Jacobson. Presidents & First Ladies of the United States.

I discovered that there is a cross-stitch pattern with a theme of Mrs. Lincoln. It is Mrs. Lincoln's Sampler by The Sampler Girl. I have that on my to do list now! Luckily, my local cross-stitch shop, Inspired Needle, has the pattern!! Will have to get that one soon.
Guess what? I feel light of spirit as I explore the world of Mrs. Lincoln! Who would of thunk it??


Jeanie said...

What an open face, almost innocent. I've never seen that photo, either. In the others, she looks harder, more determined. This one is different.

It sounds like a wonderful book. It's good to hear about it. Sometimes certain people just resonate with us.

Me :) said...

I just returned from a trip to washington DC and in the home across the street from the ford theater where lincoln was shot they had a needle point canvas and yarn.

Patti said...

Oh- that sampler was just meant to be sewn by you Laura... SOunds like you are feeling a little better. Have a wonderful weekend! Hope it is filled with all things good!

Jeanne - WillowTreeStitcher said...

I agree with you Laura - the image most everyone has of Mrs Lincoln is rather shrewish and that she was 'unstable'. She really did have some hardships in her life that probably affected her. Are you going to see the Gettysburg Address on display at the Chicago Historical Society? It's there for a limited time, wish I could go. Hope your spirits are lifting - I too don't have a lot of time for stitching between work and all - can't ignore DH all the time!

canngil said...

I have been a Lincolnphile for years, and have never seen this portrait. Can you tell me where you found it? it is very beautiful but probably not Mary Todd.

Tanya said...

Wow! That first picture of Mary is beautiful. I've never seen it before and I've done so much research on her - wow - really lovely. I am glad you like the sampler - enjoy!
There was a Lincoln exhibit at the Smithsonian a few months ago and we went - amazing stuff.


canngil said...

Hi There!
Thanks for checking out my blog---I was totally shocked anyone had found it!
All the other pictures on the site you gave,
were authentic. I am wondering if perhaps this was a portrait of one of Mary Todd's sisters or half sisters. It looks like her, but as I said, I have never seen it anywhere, and I have a huge book that supposedly has every known photo of the Lincoln family, close friends and relatives.
the site above has a good sized picture of the earliest known photograph of Mary. She was very lovely.
Ruth Painter Randall wrote two wonderful books about the Lincoln that I would recomment:
Lincoln's Sons and Mary Lincoln:A Biography of a Marriage.
enjoy! ps I am trying to post a photo of that one painting after a bit of work on the background

Gregory said...

Thank you for the post. I am a 19th century historian & have researched hundreds of Lincoln family documents & photos. I'm sorry to say, that is absolutley not Mary Todd Lincoln. I am curious though. How did you come by this photo?

Laura said...

Gregory, I googled images of Mary Todd Lincoln and there was one there; never thinking that it would not be her. It is on page 2 of the images that came up.

Anonymous said...

The photograph you've posted is of Harriet Lane, who was a niece of James Buchanan and acted as hostess as the White House during his administration. The earliest extant photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln dates from 1846, when she was 28. It's a lovely picture, depicting her seated and wearing a very dark dress with diagonal stripe detail and a cameo brooch.