Every year I take the Federal Presidents’ Day holiday seriously and observe a President by learning about them and their lives. This year was a biggie- #16.
Here are the things I learned about our greatest President:
1. Mary Todd Lincoln, has often been called bipolar. I’m partial to think that the crazy label was a lot of pre-feminism, pre-suffrage understanding of her. She had a rough life (as if life in the mid-19th century wasn’t rough enough already) and was scrutinized in the public eye more than any other woman of her time. She was very well educated, getting a graduate degree and had dimples (like me!). When Lincoln met her he said “I want to dance with you in the worst way.” and she told her cousin “he certainly did.”
-Bonus fact! Mary was originally courted by Stephan A. Douglas but she went for Lincoln instead. Yeah, that’s right. The Douglas of Lincoln-Douglas debates. No wonder it was so fiery!
2. On to another romantic angle to Lincoln, he was ghosted! For those of you not familiar with the term, read this. Lincoln was originally courting a woman named Mary Owens for about a year, even getting her to move for him. He proposed to her in probably the least romantic way possible. This seemed to cause problems in their relationship and he sent her a letter saying that it would be fine if she ended things. And she never wrote back!! Melodramatic Lincoln said he’d never find love again after that failed attempt. Very soon after, he danced with Mary Todd. Marys, amiright?
3. It’s been noted that Lincoln initially never wanted to embrace the slavery issue, but he had a record of fighting for justice. Long time readers will remember 2011 when we learned about James Knox Polk. During this time Lincoln was serving in the House and was opposed to the Mexican American war. He drafted the Spots Resolutions that demanded to know the exact spots where blood fell in the war. Polk had said that we were attacked on American soil; good old Abraham didn’t believe him. Of course, no one really cared about Lincoln and his first and only term he promised to his district ended.