Though Lincoln would not take office until March of 1861, Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) found herself under constant scrutiny for where she went, what she purchased, and what she said from November 1860 forward. Mary, who came from a well-to-do family, understood the pressure she was under and wanted to succeed at fulfilling the role of First Lady.
Press reports then and now have subjected Mary to great criticism for her spending habits. While she ultimately caused great stress for herself and the President over her expenditures, her shopping can be better understood when examined in context. Continue reading