An interesting video from the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield Illinois about Mary Lincoln’s jewelry. Mary Lincoln liked pretty things and after Lincoln became President she would go on spending binges, no doubt to relieve some of the pressure of the War and being First Lady in a nation at war with itself. Lincoln, although he loved Mary dearly, had little sympathy for her shopping expeditions at a time of national crisis. Mary reacted by concealing much of her spending from Lincoln. He went to his grave not knowing of many of her debts, their son Robert being left to pay the creditors eventually.
Benjamin Brown French, Federal commissioner for public buildings in Washington was present at one of the confrontations between President Lincoln and his wife over her spending habits: (more…)