Collection consists of 69 letters, primarily from Mary Todd Lincoln to Alexander Williamson dated from 1865 to 1867. In addition,
there are several letters from Lincoln to Sally Orne, 1865 to 1870, and to Noyes W. Miner, 1881 to 1882. Also present are
two letters from Otto Wiecker to collector William K. Bixby, dated 1908 and 1910.
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the daughter of Robert Todd, a lawyer and merchant, and Elizabeth
Ann ("Eliza") Parker Todd. Her mother died when she was a child and her father remarried Elizabeth Humphreys in 1826. Mary
Todd married Abraham Lincoln in 1842 and moved to Springfield, Illinois, where she was involved in furthering her husband's
political career. Abraham Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846 and the Illinois State Legislature
in 1854; he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1858. In 1860, he was elected president and Mary Todd Lincoln served as
first lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865. Following Abraham Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, Mary Todd Lincoln
struggled financially and sought appropriations from Congress and donations, engaging Treasury Department clerk and the Lincoln
family's former tutor, Alexander Williamson (approximately 1814-1903), in her efforts. She relocated to Chicago then traveled
to Europe with her son Thomas ("Tad") in 1868, living in Frankfurt, Germany, and in England, with visits to other locations.
She was granted a lifetime annual pension from Congress in July 1870. Lincoln returned to the United States in 1871; her son
Thomas died in July. In 1875, she was institutionalized in Illinois after a hearing instigated by her oldest son, Robert Todd
Lincoln, spending a year at the sanitarium Bellevue Place. During the final years of her life, Mary Todd Lincoln lived in
Springfield, Illinois; Pau, France; and New York. She died in Springfield, Illinois at age 63.
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