Post Reply 
Mary's Reputation
06-29-2016, 11:46 AM
Post: #211
RE: Mary's Reputation
I read that last year. Good book
Here are some interesting comments about it by members of the forum

http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussio...-2079.html

Used copies are very affordable on Amazon

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-26-2017, 09:06 PM
Post: #212
RE: Mary's Reputation
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I thought a lot of good points were brought up. One being that first ladies tend to be "headstrong" - reading histories of the first ladies, I was amazed at how strong their personalities were, even ones in more modern eras. Very few of the presidents wanted a perfect trophy wife or a silent partner - they tend to marry tough, capable women. Which, given the difficulties of political life, makes perfect sense, but I don't think it's acknowledged enough that men who become good leaders generally like a wife who asserts herself. Some of them seem to have been quite delighted with their "difficult" women - McKinley and Truman come to mind.

I'm working on a book that involves using newspaper sites to read every single article referencing Mary Lincoln during the war and its aftermath, and it's definitely interesting to see her reputation develop. Most of the corruption stuff was widely reported at the time, but Lincoln had it quietly dealt with or ignored it. He clearly knew a good deal of what was going on since it was everywhere. He kept his mouth shut (the smart thing to do). It's too bad he didn't live to speak a bit more about his experience as President for many reasons - perhaps he may have said some nice things about Mary that would have helped her image a bit. And of course he'd have had many more interesting things to say.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-27-2017, 11:03 AM
Post: #213
RE: Mary's Reputation
(10-26-2017 09:06 PM)kerry Wrote:  Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I thought a lot of good points were brought up. One being that first ladies tend to be "headstrong" - reading histories of the first ladies, I was amazed at how strong their personalities were, even ones in more modern eras. Very few of the presidents wanted a perfect trophy wife or a silent partner - they tend to marry tough, capable women. Which, given the difficulties of political life, makes perfect sense, but I don't think it's acknowledged enough that men who become good leaders generally like a wife who asserts herself. Some of them seem to have been quite delighted with their "difficult" women - McKinley and Truman come to mind.

I'm working on a book that involves using newspaper sites to read every single article referencing Mary Lincoln during the war and its aftermath, and it's definitely interesting to see her reputation develop. Most of the corruption stuff was widely reported at the time, but Lincoln had it quietly dealt with or ignored it. He clearly knew a good deal of what was going on since it was everywhere. He kept his mouth shut (the smart thing to do). It's too bad he didn't live to speak a bit more about his experience as President for many reasons - perhaps he may have said some nice things about Mary that would have helped her image a bit. And of course he'd have had many more interesting things to say.

That should make for a fascinating book.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-27-2017, 08:40 PM
Post: #214
RE: Mary's Reputation
I hope it will - having trouble narrowing the focus into a good story. I have to come up with a thesis or two to tie it together.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-28-2017, 04:58 AM
Post: #215
RE: Mary's Reputation
Mary certainly got her share of bad press.
I'm currently reading The Madness of Mary Lincoln by Jason Emerson. Several quotes in the book from the newspapers of her time about her, most of them unfavorable.

Good luck with your project.
I'd be especially interested in the good things the press might have said about her, considering all the negative press she seemed to get. Also would be interesting if you include what the foreign press might have had to say.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-28-2017, 10:52 AM
Post: #216
RE: Mary's Reputation
Thanks - I'll look for a few of the positive things and try to post them. I include what is available of the English-speaking press, though I'm not sure I'm aware of all the places to look. So I have stuff from England, Canada and Australia. There were definitely things in French and German papers that I can't translate well, but not many.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2017, 10:48 PM
Post: #217
RE: Mary's Reputation
Another thing I've been wondering about is how Lincoln's cabinet acted toward Mary after his death, and how it affected her reputation. I think staying quiet as they did was probably the best bet, but it would have been interesting had any of them stuck up for her. In the Old Clothes Scandal, when Weed came out with his denunciation, which relied heavily on Seward's experiences, I wonder what Seward thought. Whether he approved it or just let it happen. She had gone after Seward in her letter so maybe he gave the okay. One of the only comments by a cabinet member was an interview I found with Usher (Secretary of the Interior), and his main comment was that Lincoln treated her as if she was under his protection. Sumner, Trumbull and Cameron at least made a comment to the effect that she was his companion, so for his sake, be nice. I know Seward and Stanton had their own issues at that point, but I wonder what they were thinking.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


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