Post Reply 
Mary's Carriage Accident
11-19-2012, 11:06 PM
Post: #1
Mary's Carriage Accident
What are the details on this?
When did it happen?
What were her injuries?
Who else was in the carriage?

How did others respond to the "accident"?

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-19-2012, 11:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
Robert said his mother was never the same after the carriage accident
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-19-2012, 11:53 PM
Post: #3
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
I've read several thing that say she was never the same after the accident. I think that was part of what made her seem a bit crazy and partially led to Robert committing her Brookdale I believe is the name.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-24-2012, 11:44 PM
Post: #4
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
According to Benjamin Thomas in "Abraham Lincoln", chapter 19, Profile of a President, the accident occurred in the summer of 1863, when she was thrown from a carriage and stuck her head on a stone.

Other comments regarding the accident are in thread "Mary's Reputation" post 59-?. Based upon several comments in that thread, and elsewhere, IMO the accident only added to her physical and mental health problems for the rest of her life.

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-25-2012, 06:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
I just finished the chapter in The Mary Lincoln Enigma that discusses the carriage accident. It occurred on July 2, 1863, while Mary was traveling on Rock Creek Road from the Soldiers' Home to the White House. The driver's seat became detached, and he was thrown to the ground. Mary jumped from the carriage when she realized that the horses were running off.

The accident occurred near Mount Pleasant Army Hospital where the road bent into Fourteenth Street. A little past that was Carver Army Hospital - just about where Mary hit the ground. Help rushed to her immediately. She was personally cared for by a Dr. Judson C. Nelson, a surgeon with the Seventy-Sixth Regiment of New York Volunteers, who was on temporary assignment to the U.S. General Hospital Department in Washington. From what Wayne Temple, the author of this portion of the book says, the name of this doctor has just recently been discovered because a newspaper reporter of the day erroneously printed his first name as his last.

Mrs. Lincoln suffered bruises and a severe cut to the back of her head, but was treated at Carver. Dr. Nelson then drove her personally back to the White House. All this was going on while the President was monitoring the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg. Mary's wound (spelled it right this time, Roger) became infected and had to be lanced on July 9 to release the large amount of pus that had built up.

By July 20, the First Lady was sufficiently healed to desert Washington and head for the White Mountains of New Hampshire. All of this information is in a great chapter of this new book. It is entitled "I Am So Fond of Sightseeing." After reading this chapter, I can only say that the current First Lady has nothing on Mary Lincoln's love of travel. Thank god, Mary did not have an Air Force jet at her disposal.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-25-2012, 09:35 PM
Post: #6
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
Interestingly enough, the movie LINCOLN has a scene in which Mary is talking about the accident-how the "accident" was meant to happen to him. Lincoln downplays it-but of course it makes her even angrier. I suspect the accident caused a traumatic brain injury-which she would not have recovered from.

Bill Nash
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 01:46 PM
Post: #7
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
This may be a stretch, but I thought I'd mention my thoughts about other possibilities that crossed my mind. From what I understand the Lincolns had continued "issues" with the stable personnel. These issues involved behaviors such as excess drinking and not carrying out requests. Noah Brooks recounts a story that Lincoln once asked one of the coachmen to get the morning paper. Although the coachman orally told Lincoln he'd do it, he didn't do it because he didn't think it was his job to run errands. Lincoln was not pleased. Coachman Patterson McGee was fired by Mary Lincoln on February 10, 1864. That night there was a suspicious fire in the White House stables that tragically killed several horses and ponies. McGee was arrested but released for lack of solid evidence. It seems likely there were ongoing issues between the stable personnel and Mary.

So who loosened the bolts on the driver's seat? Why was it done? Sure, it could have been some sort of assassination attempt. But maybe there are other possibilities. Perhaps the coachmen themselves had an argument, and one secretly tried to give another a "surprise jolt." Or perhaps the anger was actually directed at Mary, and this was a purposeful attempt to hurt her.

All I am saying is that the accident is suspicious, but I think there may be other possibilities in addition to the speculation it was an assassination attempt. Hope I am not stretching too far here.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 02:04 PM
Post: #8
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
Roger: that's really interesting! As we've heard about Lincoln-he didn't seem to put any stock into the notion that it was intended for him...

Bill Nash
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 03:25 PM
Post: #9
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
Looking at it with a broad view like that Roger, makes a lot of sense. The stable fire proves how nasty an argument can get to some folks. It may have been meant for Lincoln, but that's a bit weak for an assassination attempt.

"Only cowards try to assassinate a man's character"
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 04:43 PM
Post: #10
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
I watched the movie Lincokn last week and I was suprised when during one sene Mary and Abraham were fighting about the grief they had for their children and she told him he should through her in an asylum becasue he didnt greive like she did, as well as if she is crazy then why not do it I thought but then I wondered if that was even an option I dont think he would have. but that is me. The accident help her demeanor very much I dont think.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 04:57 PM
Post: #11
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
Weren't they both greatly saddened by the death of Willie's pony in the fire? As if the pony was still a connection to the boy.

I think, Ashley, in the Elizabeth Keckly book, Lizzie hears Lincoln warn Mary that she would be put into an asylum if she didn't control herself. Lincoln supposedly points out the window to an asylum. Seems like a poor place to put the asylum, close to the White House. Kinda like asking for trouble. I wonder if its true.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 05:05 PM
Post: #12
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
(11-26-2012 04:57 PM)Mark MacKenzie Wrote:  Weren't they both greatly saddened by the death of Willie's pony in the fire? As if the pony was still a connection to the boy.

Good point, Mark. Robert W. McBride, a member of the Union Light Guard, wrote:

"After posting the sentinels, I went inside. Mr. Lincoln, with others, was standing in the East Room, looking at the still burning stable. He was weeping. Little 'Tad,' his youngest son, explained his father's emotion. His son Willie had died a short time before. He was his father's favorite, and the stable contained a pony that had belonged to the dead boy. The thought of his dead child had come to his mind as soon as he learned the stables were on fire, and he had rushed out to try to save the pony from the flames."
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 05:41 PM
Post: #13
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
Roger,Your theory makes a lot of sense!Revenge is historicaly natural,but very hard to prove!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-26-2012, 07:49 PM
Post: #14
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
I think Roger's theories make a lot of sense. It does seem that loosening the driver's seat was not a surefire way of eliminating someone with the strength of Mr. Lincoln.

Also, Mark: What was the insane asylum (now known as St. Elizabeth's and almost extinct since Homeland Security is taking over the campus) is situated on one of the highest points in D.C. I believe only the National Cathedral is on a higher site, and it wasn't there in the 1860s. The city did not have many tall buildings during the Civil War either, so it was likely that the asylum in southeast Washington could be seen from the White House in northwest Washington.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-28-2012, 11:51 PM
Post: #15
RE: Mary's Carriage Accident
(11-26-2012 04:57 PM)Mark MacKenzie Wrote:  Weren't they both greatly saddened by the death of Willie's pony in the fire? As if the pony was still a connection to the boy.

I think, Ashley, in the Elizabeth Keckly book, Lizzie hears Lincoln warn Mary that she would be put into an asylum if she didn't control herself. Lincoln supposedly points out the window to an asylum. Seems like a poor place to put the asylum, close to the White House. Kinda like asking for trouble. I wonder if its true.

Oh ok thank that makes more sense now. I thought there were some missing pieces thank you. I does seem that it was sort of asking for troubke so close.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)