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Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Printable Version

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RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 06-27-2016 04:08 AM

I guess I live in an isolated world as I do not think I had heard of her before you mentioned her, Eva. But when I look at the number of views for her songs I am surprised I was unaware of her.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 06-27-2016 03:16 PM

In her youth Mary and her sister, Elizabeth, once wore something that received this reaction from their stepmother, Betsy Humphreys Todd.

"What frights you are...Take those awful things off, dress yourself properly and go to Sunday School."

What were the girls wearing that caused Betsy to say this?


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Anita - 06-27-2016 04:49 PM

Didn't they make some sort of hoops to go under their dresses?


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Eva Elisabeth - 06-27-2016 05:32 PM

Self-made/~sewn hoop skirts, the hoops were made of twigs (willow?).


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Anita - 06-27-2016 08:45 PM

(06-25-2016 05:45 PM)L Verge Wrote:  In the process of enjoying this thread, I learned that there are macarons and macaroons -- two separate treats. Macarons are actually two almond cookies held together (a la Oreos) by a sugary middle. Macaroons are a single almond (and usually coconut) cookie. Do we know whether Mrs. Lincoln's pyramid was made from macarons or macaroons? I would suspect macarons.
Thanks for the macaroon vs macaron post. It is a yummy topic!

Laurie, I searched but had no luck determining the type of macaroon used in Mary's pyramid. Confusing matters is that "The macaroon is often confused with the macaron; many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonymous.[3] In reality, the word macaroon is simply an Anglicization of the French word macaron (compare balloon, from French ballon), so both pronunciations are technically correct depending on personal preference and context. "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaron

I do know it wasn't a double because that didn't happen until the 1890s. "Evolution of the Macaron. ​First, a macaron was just single almond cookie, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. In the 1830s, macaron shelves were assembled two by two, topped with jam, spices or liquors. The brightly colored macarons we so often see today didn't look like that at all in the past. In the 1890's, Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin to Louis Ernest Laduree, began sandwiching the two cookies around butter crème, jam, compote or ganache." http://www.mrmacaron.com/history.html

Based on what I have learned (see below) Mary's cookie was a single almond macaron like the ones in Mrs. Leslie's recipe. No coconut. That would have been too heavy and wouldn't work well in a pyramid with caramelized spun sugar. I imagine the cookies were light brown. Go here to see the recipe for Mrs. Leslie's Almond Macaroons. There is no coconut in this recipe. It is a macaron.
https://archive.org/stream/misslesliescookb00lesl#page/536/mode/2up

While the cookies weren't yet doubled with fillings, single ones appeared in colors in 1862. "La Maison Ladurée" ​A few years later, the colorful cookies became prominent as La Maison Ladurée began cranking out a variety of flavors and colors." http://www.mrmacaron.com/history.html
I wonder if Mary served these in pyramids in the White House. With all her travels to France after 1865 there is no doubt she sampled these "macarons".

Oops! Didn't see Roger hadn't replied to #243, #244. I was in the middle of posting to Laurie's question early this AM when an all day power outage occurred. Just came back on line and my reply posted. Sorry.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 06-28-2016 03:55 AM

(06-27-2016 04:49 PM)Anita Wrote:  Didn't they make some sort of hoops to go under their dresses?

(06-27-2016 05:32 PM)Eva Elisabeth Wrote:  Self-made/~sewn hoop skirts, the hoops were made of twigs (willow?).

Brilliant, Anita and Eva! Yes, Mary was 9 or 10 at the time, and Betsy thought she was too young to be wearing a hoop skirt.

You both win one of these beautiful hoop skirts. You will be the envy of the neighborhood! Anita, you can wear yours to the strawberry party. Eva, I am sure you will find many occasions to wear yours. Enjoy!

(Hopefully you both drive big cars that are easy to get in and out of)

[Image: a8meter08.jpg]



RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Eva Elisabeth - 06-28-2016 06:51 AM

Thanks, Roger - wow, it looks like I can easily hide my car under it! It reminds me of those I've seen in a venture named "Cypress Gardens" in FL many years ago.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Anita - 06-28-2016 11:33 AM

Thanks Roger, it's the perfect dress for the party! I have to practice getting through the door and sitting without falling over!


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - L Verge - 06-28-2016 12:21 PM

I've seen a lot of hoops, but never one quite that large. Trust me, Anita, you will not get it through the door or even find a chair - or least make a correct aim at the seat without finding yourself on the floor.

One time, I was trying to work at my desk while awaiting a tour in costume. I had been standing up, and the phone rang. I tried to sit down in my rolling desk chair and pick up the phone at the same time. I did maintain a cool calm while falling to the floor and sitting there while I conducted business. The hardest part was trying to carry on a conversation with a stranger while several of my staff were having hysterics around me!


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Anita - 06-28-2016 02:45 PM

Laurie, what a riot! I hope you were wearing your petticoats under those hoops. Did anyone dare snap a photo?


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - L Verge - 06-28-2016 07:07 PM

(06-28-2016 02:45 PM)Anita Wrote:  Laurie, what a riot! I hope you were wearing your petticoats under those hoops. Did anyone dare snap a photo?

Yep, petticoats and pantalettes. And thank the good Lord that it was in the days without camera phones.

My daughter was two when I started working at Surratt House. She and our cocker spaniel used to play hide and seek under my hoops. And, believe it or not, I used to drive a Chevy Chevette with stick shift with those skirts on. Once you shoved everything under the steering wheel, the rest was easy. You just worried about having a flat tire, and you learned to look straight ahead when stopped at a light because you were wearing a fancy head piece also.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - PaigeBooth - 06-28-2016 10:36 PM

(06-28-2016 07:07 PM)L Verge Wrote:  
(06-28-2016 02:45 PM)Anita Wrote:  Laurie, what a riot! I hope you were wearing your petticoats under those hoops. Did anyone dare snap a photo?

Yep, petticoats and pantalettes. And thank the good Lord that it was in the days without camera phones.

My daughter was two when I started working at Surratt House. She and our cocker spaniel used to play hide and seek under my hoops. And, believe it or not, I used to drive a Chevy Chevette with stick shift with those skirts on. Once you shoved everything under the steering wheel, the rest was easy. You just worried about having a flat tire, and you learned to look straight ahead when stopped at a light because you were wearing a fancy head piece also.


Laurie-- thanks for sharing these stories! I have heard that hoops often twisted and had a tendency to ride up on ladies, especially if they were in movement, such as walking. Is that true?

Your story reminded me of a picture I took a couple of weeks ago of a wire bustle that I saw while touring. This bustle was patented in 1888! The display said it was used to lift the often heavy dress fabric so that it would not drag on the ground when the wearer was walking and to keep the dress shaped while sitting. Below is a picture I took of the wire bustle:


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - L Verge - 06-29-2016 08:56 AM

(06-28-2016 10:36 PM)PaigeBooth Wrote:  
(06-28-2016 07:07 PM)L Verge Wrote:  
(06-28-2016 02:45 PM)Anita Wrote:  Laurie, what a riot! I hope you were wearing your petticoats under those hoops. Did anyone dare snap a photo?

Yep, petticoats and pantalettes. And thank the good Lord that it was in the days without camera phones.

My daughter was two when I started working at Surratt House. She and our cocker spaniel used to play hide and seek under my hoops. And, believe it or not, I used to drive a Chevy Chevette with stick shift with those skirts on. Once you shoved everything under the steering wheel, the rest was easy. You just worried about having a flat tire, and you learned to look straight ahead when stopped at a light because you were wearing a fancy head piece also.


Laurie-- thanks for sharing these stories! I have heard that hoops often twisted and had a tendency to ride up on ladies, especially if they were in movement, such as walking. Is that true?

Your story reminded me of a picture I took a couple of weeks ago of a wire bustle that I saw while touring. This bustle was patented in 1888! The display said it was used to lift the often heavy dress fabric so that it would not drag on the ground when the wearer was walking and to keep the dress shaped while sitting. Below is a picture I took of the wire bustle:

That bustle looks a lot friendlier than one I found in our old attic. It didn't have the wire meshing, just about six rows of heavy wire. The bustle may have served the purpose of keeping the skirt off the ground and shaped, but I always thought it was just a fashion statement of the age -- and actually appeared in the 1870s and the 1880s.

As for uncooperative hoops, I have to admit that most of us cheat and wear modern bridal hoops. I experienced no problems other than wires eventually wearing out and protruding through the fabric (and sometimes me!). The modern ones do get out of shape. Several of my volunteers have made their own according to 1860 standards and they are quite sturdy.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - L Verge - 06-29-2016 10:22 AM

One more hoop story and I'll quit... The first year that Surratt House opened, we started a weekend event featuring a Victorian Craft Fair, which brought out between 800-1000 visitors. Most of the crafters were set up under a huge tent outdoors, but some were in our period rooms. This required having at least six costumed guides for crowd control, etc. They circulated through the house and grounds.

I happened to step out of one of the upstairs bedrooms and see an "empty" hoop laying on the floor at the top of the stairs. Obviously, one of our ladies had stepped out of it, but why leave it laying there? With hoop in hand, I began searching for its owner. I finally found her outside on the front lawn talking with someone. I walked over to her, held out the garment, and asked if she was missing something. She looked at me as if I had lost my mind -- until she patted her skirts and found how flat she was.

Obviously, the hoop had come untied at the waist, and she had stepped out of it without realizing what had happened and went on about her business. Some of you will know who the lady was/is -- Joan Chaconas, who is much better at Lincoln history than she is at portraying a Civil War lady!


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 07-13-2016 04:09 PM

In 1988 an author was interviewed on the Today Show. He maintained that Mary Lincoln had syphilis which he felt she had contracted from Abraham. He believed this effected her brain. What was the author's name?