Thursday, December 13, 2018

Happy 200th Birthday Mary Lincoln

I do not have a long, detailed post prepared for Mrs. Lincoln’s 200th birthday, so perhaps shame on me, but this is certainly a noteworthy date, one that I did want to discuss, even if only briefly.  200 is a big number and Mary was an important figure, one of the most famous women among the familiar names in American history. She was also a Kentuckian, which naturally adds to my interest in her life.

Here is the review I did of Catherine Clinton’s fine biography of Mary. It is a terrific book that I highly recommend. It describes the challenges Mary faced, including self-inflicted troubles. One of the more interesting and well-known facets of her life was how the Civil War split her family. Stuart Sanders penned (maybe current lingo should say “typed”) a really fine essay on her younger sister Emilie Helm (link is to my review) and their relationship. Both of these works are valuable in understanding Mary’s life.

I still also wish that the people who produced the film Lincoln would do a movie focusing on Mary. I do need to read other biographies on her in Lieu of such a film, but for now I find it appropriate to recognize the 200th anniversary of her birth and hope that other people think of her today and even on other dates. She is definitely a fascinating persona from the state and nation’s history.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Lincoln. I hope you have found the peace and happiness that eluded you for much of your life.

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