She married politician and attorney Abraham Lincoln on November 4, 1842. When the Civil War started, Mary’s family supported the South, but she stayed a fervent Unionist. After her husband’s assassination, Mary fell right into a heavy melancholy and her remaining son, Robert Todd Lincoln, had her briefly perpetrated. She died in 1882.
Mary grew up rich; her dad, Robert Todd, was a successful retailer as well as a politician. Lincoln lost her mom when she was just 6 years old. Her father soon remarried, and her strict stepmother had little consideration for Lincoln. Despite whatever ill will existed between her and her stepmother, Lincoln received a remarkable instruction to get a young girl in this period of time. She studied in a nearby academy and then attended boarding school.
There the wise, outgoing young woman brought numerous admirers, including Stephen Douglas and up and coming politician and lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. Her family didn’t approve of the match—Abraham was nine years older than Mary, had little formal schooling and came from a poor foundation. But Mary and Abraham shared a love of politics and literature and looked to greatly love each other. The couple wed on November 4, 1842, and nine months after, their first son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was born.
She offered him guidance, hosted events and sought recommendations for him as he worked on improving his career in public life. The Lincolns appeared to be rather the team. When he learned that he’d won the presidential election in 1860, he ran house crying “Mary, Mary, we’re elected,” according to White House Studies.
Broadly disliked in the White House, Mary Todd Lincoln was mental and vocal and spent lavishly during a period when budgets were tight to fight the Civil War. Some even accused her of being a Confederate secret agent. Mary Todd Lincoln’s time in the White House was also marked by disaster. William, better called “Willie,” died in 1862, and Mary was overcome by despair to get quite a long time. Mary started to investigate spiritualism around now, another interest of hers that was derided. Little did she understand that even more heartbreak was in store for her.
The president died the following day, and Mary Todd Lincoln never completely regained. She returned to Illinois and, after the departure of her youngest son Thomas in 1871, fell right into a serious melancholy. Her only surviving son, Robert, brought her to court on charges of madness in 1875. He maintained that her spending sprees, distorted perspective of her financing and concerns for her own security were indications of mental illness. The court sided with Robert, and Mary was committed to an insane asylum beyond Chicago. She was released several months after, but the event caused her to become estranged from her son. In addition, it left her with the long-term public understanding of her as being insane.
In 1876, Mary Todd Lincoln recovered control over her property following a court found her to be of sound mind. She worried that her son might try again to institutionalize her again and decided to reside abroad. In 1881, Lincoln returned to America, deciding to live together with her sister Elizabeth in Springfield, Illinois. She died of a stroke there on July 16, 1882 in the age of 63. Historians have debated many facets of Mary Todd Lincoln’s nature over time, including her sanity. She undoubtedly had a high strung character, shopaholic tendencies and an interest in certain offbeat thoughts, but she also revealed herself to possess a sharp intellect and brain.