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Quotes About the Marriage of Mary and Abraham Lincoln

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Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Lincoln and His Family (Thomas, Abraham, Robert Todd, and Mary Todd Lincoln). Painting by S. B. Waugh engraved by W. Sartain. Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., c. 1866. Prints and Photographs Division.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Lincoln Related: Marriage Issues | Marriage Profile | Children | Previous Relationships

Much has been written about the marriage of Mary and Abraham Lincoln. Here are a few selected quotes about their marriage relationship.

Abraham about Mary: "My wife is as handsome as when she was a girl, and I a poor nobody then, fell in love with her, and what is more, I have never fallen out."
Source: PBS.org, Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided.

Mary about Abraham: "Mr. Lincoln was the kindest man and most loving husband and father in the world. He was very - exceedingly indulgent to his children. Chided or praised them for what they did - their acts, etc. He always said It is my pleasure that my children are free, happy and unrestrained by parental tyranny. Love is the chain whereby to bind a child to its parents.'"
source: NPS.gov

Elizabeth Edwards, Mary's sister: "I warned Mary that she and Mr. Lincoln were not suitable. Mr. Edwards and myself believed they were different in nature, and education and raising. They had no feelings alike. They were so different that they could not live happily as man and wife."
Source: Jean H. Baker. Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography. page 89.

Beatrice Gormley: "Although they were opposites in temperament, Abraham Lincoln appreciated his wife's quick wit and liveliness, bearing patiently with her outbursts of temper and her sometimes irrational fears."
Source: Beatrice Gormley. First Ladies: Women Who Called the White House Home. page 38.

Elizabeth Blair Lee, Mary's friend: "Mary has her husband's deepest love. This is a matter upon which one woman cannot deceive another."
Source: Jean H. Baker. Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography. page 228.

Doranne Jacobson: "The marriage was one of mutual support and affection yet was always rocky. Both considered it a partnership of equals ... Had Mary not encouraged Lincoln in his quest for the presidency, he would almost certainly never have achieved the office."
Source: Doranne Jacobson. Presidents & First Ladies of the United States. page 51.

Abraham on April 14, 1865: "Mary, I consider this day, the war, has come to a close ... we must both be more cheerful in the future -- between the war and the loss of our darling Willie -- we have both been very miserable."
Source: Doris Kearns Goodwin. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. page 733.

Mary about their marriage: "... notwithstanding our opposite natures, our lives have been eminently peaceful."
Source: Jean H. Baker. Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography. page 228.

Doris Goodwin: "They had traveled an unimaginable distance together since their first dance in Springfield a quarter of a century earlier. Over the years, they had supported each other, irritated each other, shared a love of family, politics, poetry, and drama. Mary's descent into depression after Willie's death had added immeasurably to Lincoln's burdens, and the terrible pressures of the war had further distorted their relationship. His intense focus on his presidential responsibilities had often left her feeling abandoned and resentful. Now, with the war coming to an end and time bringing solace to their grief, the Lincolns could plan for a happier future. They hoped to travel someday - to Europe and the Holy Land, over the Rockies to California, then back home to Illinois, where their life together had begun."
Source: Doris Kearns Goodwin. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. page 733.

Abe to Mary Owens about marriage: "... whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented, and there is nothing I can imagine that would make me more unhappy than to fail in this effort."
Source: Jean H. Baker. Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography. page 87.

Abe: "Put it in the stove! That's the way I do when I have written a letter while I am mad. It is a good letter, and you've had a good time writing it, and you feel better, don't you? It has done you good and answered its purpose. Now burn it! W.W.
Source: Wayne Whipple. The Story Life of Abraham Lincoln: A Biography Composed of Five Hundred True Stories Told by Abraham Lincoln and His Friends. 1908, reprint 2010. pg. 623.

Issues and Problems in Mary and Abraham Lincoln's Marriage

Mary and Abraham Lincoln's Children

Abraham Lincoln's Previous Relationships

Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln Marriage Profile

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