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Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave By Jennifer Fleischner,

  • Title: Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave
  • Author: Jennifer Fleischner
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A vibrant social history set against the backdrop of the Antebellum south and the Civil War that recreates the lives and friendship of two exceptional women First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her mulatto dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckly I consider you my best living friend, Mary Lincoln wrote to Elizabeth Keckly in 1867, and indeed theirs was a close, if tumultuous, relationA vibrant social history set against the backdrop of the Antebellum south and the Civil War that recreates the lives and friendship of two exceptional women First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her mulatto dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckly I consider you my best living friend, Mary Lincoln wrote to Elizabeth Keckly in 1867, and indeed theirs was a close, if tumultuous, relationship Born into slavery, mulatto Elizabeth Keckly was Mary Lincoln s dressmaker, confidante, and mainstay during the difficult years that the Lincolns occupied the White House and the early years of Mary s widowhood But she was a fascinating woman in her own right, independent and already well established as the dressmaker to the Washington elite when she was first hired by Mary Lincoln upon her arrival in the nation s capital Lizzy had bought her freedom in 1855 and come to Washington determined to make a life for herself as a free black, and she soon had Washington correspondents reporting that stately carriages stand before her door, whose haughty owners sit before Lizzy docile as lambs while she tells them what to wear Mary Lincoln had hired Lizzy in part because she was considered a high society seamstress and Mary, an outsider in Washington s social circles, was desperate for social cachet With her husband struggling to keep the nation together, Mary turned increasingly to her seamstress for companionship, support, and advice and over the course of those trying years, Lizzy Keckly became her confidante and closest friend.With Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Keckly, pioneering historian Jennifer Fleischner allows us to glimpse the intimate dynamics of this unusual friendship for the first time, and traces the pivotal events that enabled these two women one born to be a mistress, the other to be a slave to forge such an unlikely bond at a time when relations between blacks and whites were tearing the nation apart Beginning with their respective childhoods in the slaveholding states of Virginia and Kentucky, their story takes us through the years of tragic Civil War, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the early Reconstruction period An author in her own right, Keckly wrote one of the most detailed biographies of Mary Lincoln ever published, and though it led to a bitter feud between the friends, it is one of the many rich resources that have enhanced Fleischner s trove of original findings.A remarkable, riveting work of scholarship that reveals the legacy of slavery and sheds new light on the Lincoln White House, Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Keckly brings to life a mesmerizing, intimate aspect of Civil War history, and underscores the inseparability of black and white in our nation s heritage.
    Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Keckly The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave A vibrant social history set against the backdrop of the Antebellum south and the Civil War that recreates the lives and friendship of two exceptional women First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her mulatt

    One thought on “Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave”

    1. This double biography studies the parallel lives of Mary Lincoln and the freed slave woman her became her seamstress when Mary became the First Lady, or Mrs President as the title was at that time As other reviewers noted, the friendship between these women was brief, lasting only a few years after the President s murder However, the book discusses not only their childhoods, but gives the history of their families I have read several biographies of Mary Lincoln as well as than a few books on he [...]

    2. I m giving this 3 stars, but it just barely makes it.Unfortunately, the sub title of the book is very misleading Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Keckly don t even meet until page 200, on the eve of Lincoln s first inauguration Also unfortunately, much of the remaining 125 pages involves Civil War politics I did want to know about the friendship of these women, but perhaps the intricacies of that friendship cannot truly be known and this was, after all, non fiction.Mary Lincoln was vain, arrogant and selfis [...]

    3. This is one of the best historical novels I ve ever read Facts and details are supported by research and other period writings You get the whole picture or one that s pretty close to it about Mary and her miserable childhood, a lot of what showed itself in her adult behavior I read about people from Springfield whose names are well known here And Lizzy this book follows her from her humble beginnings to a triumph of freedom which she bought for herself She helped Mary during her white house days [...]

    4. I cannot wait to discuss this with my discussion group this week An interesting read and very discussable.Cons Way too much historical detail and I love history the book is about 325 pages long only the last 100 pages actually deal with the friendship between these two women and finally, not real thrilled with all of the assumptions that the author makes such and such might have done this or the family might have done that Based on all of the research the author did, she should have been able t [...]

    5. I can t believe I FINALLY got through this book I put it down twice, deciding not to read it b c the author was horrible She s a historian and she was dry But when she finally got around to telling the story she was writing about, it got very interesting the last 75 pages.

    6. I don t know if I just wasn t in the mood to read this, or if it got bogged down in the details and I got bored with it I was so looking forward to reading this and it disapointed me.

    7. The author is a colleague of mine and when I started reading the book I wondered whether or not I should put it on this list What if I didn t like it Could I write honest comments I need not have worried This is a very well researched and well written book, a dual biography of two women, one who grew up as a slave, the other with a privileged but emotionally challenging background Their lives and eventual relationship makes fascinating reading and illuminates Lincoln, the civil war, slavery and [...]

    8. The author makes some assumptions and the style can be dry in places, but overall this is a great book because of the insights it offers into the experiences of freed slaves as well as the personal lives of the Lincolns I loved Mrs Lincoln s response when friends wondered whether she ever regretted deciding to marry the gangly and struggling Lincoln rather than the then successful Stephen Douglas What they fail to realize is that his heart is as large as his arms are long paraphrased because I [...]

    9. I really distrust a book that has an error on the third page Plunged on, though, and found enough interesting stuff I hadn t known before to make it worth reading Not that I trust it

    10. It took me a long time to get through this book The beginning of the book was really good It was about both women s lives up to the time they met I especially found it interesting learning about the early days of Lexington, Kentucky and the history of slavery in Kentucky Once the women meet, on the eve of Lincoln s inauguration, it started to lose steam Maybe because everything just become political I completely stalled when I had only two chapters to go, but I did finally push through There is [...]

    11. Really, I would rate Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Keckly with 4 and 1 2 stars I appreciate learning about a well to do community of African Americans living in Washington, D.C before the Civil war I would have liked to learn about how the community thrived in such a hostile environment As it is the little as presented was intriguing That Mrs Keckly survived her years as a slave with some sense of self intact speaks to the strength of her character It took that strength to deal with Mrs Lincoln An intere [...]

    12. This book gives a fascinating look at the parallel and yet perpendicular lives of Mary Todd Lincoln and Lizzie Keckly I knew of both of them from my own fascination with Lincoln, but the details of their lives, Mary s spending, and Lizzie s purchasing of her freedom were page turning Well worth the read

    13. Enjoyed this well documented relationship between Mary Lincoln and her dressmaker Insight into southern views of women, slave relationships and Mary Lincoln You are what you were when It was a little dry in parts but very insightful.

    14. There were some good moments but those didn t come until the last third of the book The writer spends too much time on the background of people that she loses sight of the two women that are important It s great to see a biography of a first lady that doesn t focus as much on the president.

    15. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and must thank my friend for sending it to me Of the dozens of books I have read about Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd mostly remained a footnote, garnering perhaps a chapter or so, and certainly without enough insight to answer a question that has long troubled me How were Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd able to stay together so many years given her extreme behavior Jennifer Fleischner is able to somewhate define their relationship while leaving th [...]

    16. Very informative about the relationship between Mary and Lizzy but way too much TMI about other topics Mostly scimmed that stuff.

    17. Although this may not be a best seller the story line between these two women I found most interesting the parallel of their lives the and in the era of American history one of the biggest changes gives the reader two views in one Mary Lincoln, from bloodlines of well established figures in American history and Elizabeth Keckly, a slave, of an established Southern family shares this line of historic change Few readers will not find in history of women during the Civil War, or I think of any majo [...]

    18. Much has been written about Mary Lincoln not much of it favorable That is the truth of the matter because she was brought up to live in leisure cared for by slaves What I learned from this book is that she lost her mother when she was very young, her father remarried and his new wife favored her own children Mary grew up lonely She was an intelligent woman and an assertive one, a trait not admired in those days, and interested in politics a man s purview Her story is not unlike many at the time [...]

    19. I expected this dual biography to focus on the two titular women, and not so much on the Lincoln presidency however, I suppose Lincoln s being president is what caused the two to meet and develop a relationship Elizabeth Keckly was born a slave and spent most of her young life as one She purchased her and her son s freedom when she was in her late thirties and then moved to Chicago, beginning a highly lucrative dressmaking business She was introduced to Mary Todd Lincoln by a mutual acquaintanc [...]

    20. Elizabeth Keckly was the former slave who became Mary Todd Lincoln s seamstress and friend Her story is in some ways remarkable than Mary Lincoln s Born a slave, she bought her freedom as well as that of her son, and set up business as a seamstress She was gifted and had the cream of society as her clients including Mrs Jefferson Davis As Mary Lincoln s seamstress, she knew the Lincoln family intimately As a former slave, she knew how to act properly, yet she maintained her dignity and knew whe [...]

    21. I did find out about Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Keckly separately, but didn t find out much about their friendship until the end of the book which didn t begin until Mrs Lincoln became First Lady Mrs Keckly was born in Dinwiddie County,VA on a plantation to a privileged house slave and most probably her master, but her mother s husband accepted Lizzy as his own Lizzy Keckly grew up and bought her freedom in DC There, she became the seamstress to the elite ladies of DC Mrs Lincoln, wanting to fit in wit [...]

    22. My review pretty well aligns with the others here the actual friendship portion of the book was much shorter than the biographical components Having said that, it works rather well as an historical account It s a long read, as the pages are very tightly packed with small text, but I felt it was worthwhile all the same There was a lot to go through, but I felt it painted a pretty intimate portrait of the subjects within.I am a bit surprised at how Robert Todd Lincoln was slightly vilified, as it [...]

    23. I was led to this book from the source list in Mrs Lincoln s Dressmaker Sometimes historical fiction makes me want to learn the history, and this time it was easier than usual.First praise goes to the book cover design and title the two women shown as equals, the title listing them as equals.The early chapters alternate between the childhoods of each woman Gradually their lives and stories are intertwined Interpretations are interesting, like frequent references to Mary Lincoln s child source o [...]

    24. Mrs Lincoln Mrs Keckley, by Jennifer Fleischner Although I did not like this book, I am giving it 3 stars because I m sure that history buffs of the Civil War era will enjoy this book.The book began with a brief bit about the friendship in the prologuebut then went into the detailed background of Todd somewhat of Mrs Keckley, but in a manner that jumped around For myself, this was too detailedI just don t care about all the minute facts about Free Slaves of the era, Mary Todd s political ambitio [...]

    25. Elizabeth Keckly was born into slavery and bought her freedom and that of her son for 1200 A talented seamstress, she opened a shop in St Louis, and soon counted among her customers the important and influential women of society When Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency, Mary Todd Lincoln engaged Mrs Keckly to sew new gowns for her important Washington functions.When the President was assassinated, it was Lizzy Keckly who was constantly by Mary Lincoln s side And when the President s wi [...]

    26. I really liked the book although at times I did find myself losing interest You not only learn about the relationship between Lincoln Keckly but also between Mary and her husband That especially fascinated me because I was unaware of just how much Mary was despised while her husband loved It seems that there was very much to be appalled by After finishing reading I m still fascinated by the relationship between Mary and Abraham Lincoln On the other hand the relationship between Mary Lizzy was no [...]

    27. I read this about 3 years ago I loved it It gives us the lives of these two women before they met, giving us insight into what made these women who they were, the dichotomy of their social standing yet each had an element of high social standing with their peers, despite the things that others looked down on them for , and, because of race and society, how their friendship was actually a closet one than an open public one I only rated this 4 stars because it took so long to get to their knowing [...]

    28. Quite the fascinating book It s another example of how often overlooked details in history become compelling stories This one caught my eye in the gift shop at Ford s Theatre in Washington, D.C Fleischner constructs parallel narratives of the lives of Lincoln and Keckly, and as history brings the two women together the author describes the convergence but never strays from showing how each fares on her own Fleischner is adept at weaving in key details of historical developments while keeping the [...]

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