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Mary Todd Lincoln's Silver Service

Taking tea with the First Lady
This Gorham coin silver service, monogrammed "MTL," was probably presented to Mary Todd Lincoln while she was First Lady. Each piece bears an engraved crest, likely an adaptation of the Todd family crest. A highly educated Kentucky woman, she believed it was her duty to bolster the Union's morale during the Civil War by establishing a highly visible social life in the capital and by refurbishing the White House. Her efforts were misunderstood, however, and Mary Todd Lincoln--already under suspicion because of her Southern roots--became the target of vicious criticism in the wartime capital.

Mary Todd Lincoln, born December 13, 1818, Lexington, KY; died July 16, 1882, Springfield, IL
Gift of Lincoln Isham, great-grandson of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, 1957
Web display only

Learn more!
· Mary Todd Lincoln
· Loathed or Loved?--Mary Todd Lincoln
· The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden - An NMAH Virtual Exhibition

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