October 13, 1867: Mary Todd Lincoln writes to her dressmaker, Lizzie Keckley

Was there ever such cruel newspaper abuse lavished upon an unoffending woman as has been showered upon my devoted head? The people of this ungrateful country are like the ‘dogs in the manger;’ will neither do anything mary-lincoln2themselves, nor allow me to improve my own condition. What a Government we have! All their abuse lavished upon me only lowers themselves in the estimation of all true–hearted people.

The Springfield Journal had an editorial a few days since, with the important information that Mrs. Lincoln had been known to be deranged for years, and should be pitied for all her strange acts. I should have been all right if I had allowed them to take possession of the White House. In the comfortable stealings by contracts from the Government, these low creatures are allowed to hurl their malicious wrath at me, with no one to defend me or protect me, if I should starve. These people injure themselves far more than they could do me, by their lies and villany. Their aim is to prevent my goods being sold, or anything being done for me. In this, I very much fear, they have succeeded…

Elizabeth KeckleyTwo weeks ago, dear Lizzie, we were in that den of discomfort and dirt. Now we are far asunder. Every other day, for the past week, I have had a chill, brought on by excitement and suffering of mind. In the midst of it I have moved into my winter quarters, and am now very comfortably situated. My parlor and bedroom are very sweetly furnished. I am lodged in a handsome house, a very kind, good, quiet family, and their meals are excellent. I consider myself fortunate in all this. I feel assured that the Republicans, who, to cover up their own perfidy and neglect, have used every villanous falsehood in their power to injure me—I fear they have more than succeeded, but if their day of reckoning does not come in this world, it will surely in the next…

Saturday.—I have determined to shed no more tears over all their cruel falsehoods, yet, just now, I feel almost forsaken by God and man—except by the latter to be vilified. Write me all that Keyes and Brady think of the result. For myself, after such abuse, I expect nothing. Oh! that I could see you.

Write me, dear Lizzie, if only a line; I cannot understand your silence. Hereafter direct your letters to Mrs. A. Lincoln, 460 West Washington street, Chicago, Ill., care of D. Cole. Remember 460. I am always so anxious to hear from you, I am feeling so friendless in the world.

I remain always your affectionate friend.
M. L.

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