Special Collections Item of the Month

Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckley, 1868.

Elizabeth Keckley was Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress at the White House, and became a close confidant of the First Lady. She was born in Virginia and for thirty years was a slave, before she was able to purchase her freedom while working as a dressmaker. She met Mary Todd Lincoln on the day of Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration as President, and was hired to make dresses for her the following day.

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