Curated Groupings

The Widow Lincoln: "Time brings to me, no healing on its wing"

Life After the White House

After her husband's assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln attempted to rebuild her life with her sons Robert and Tad. She faced numerous hardships, including financial uncertainty, periodic attacks in the press, Tad's death, and her own commitment to a sanitarium. Feeling desperately alone without her beloved husband, she clung to her remaining family and friends for support and assistance. She was especially worried about money, a worry intensified by the fact that Abraham Lincoln died without a will, leaving Mary to undergo years of financial turmoil before his estate was settled.

Further Tragedy

Mary's suffering increased after Tad's death in 1871, leading her to enter the darkest years of her life. Her strange behavior and Robert's fears for her sanity led to Mary's committment to Bellevue Place, a private sanitarium near Chicago, in 1875. When she was declared sane a year later, she wandered the United States and Europe. In 1880, with her health declining, she retreated to the Springfield home of her older sister, Elizabeth Todd Edwards. There Mary Todd Lincoln died on July 16, 1882.

Mrs. Lincoln

The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection holds letters, documents, photographs, and possessions that relate to Mary Todd Lincoln's widowhood. By clicking on the images above, you can examine and learn more about some of these items.