The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

Women’s Roles

What was the First Family of the Union like?

Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln had a strange, and sometimes strained, relationship. Nine years younger than her husband, Mary Todd came from a much more distinguished lineage, and in the early years of their marriage she may well have been the “boss,” prompting her husband to become even more ambitious than he was by nature. Because of his long string of successes in the outer world, Abraham Lincoln eventually came to look like the “boss” in his family life as well, but one suspects that his wife could back him into a corner on occasion.

President Lincoln is shown with his youngest son, Tad, in this 1864 photo.


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