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The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln

The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln

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Published by Coffeetown Press
Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the president we have immortalized, has always been difficult for us to understand. She could appear poised and brilliant one moment yet rude and ugly the next. Sometimes competent and strong, able to entertain dignitaries from around the world, at other times she appeared dependent and weak. At times she seemed utterly beside herself with sobbing and screaming. Historians have mostly avoided saying very much about Mary Todd Lincoln except in reference to her husband, Abraham. To many it would seem that Mary Todd Lincoln is still an embarrassment in the tragic story of her martyred husband. But Mary Todd Lincoln lived her own tragic story even before Abraham was murdered. She was an addict, addicted to the opiates she needed for her migraine headaches. Seeing Mary Todd Lincoln as an addict helps us understand her and give her the compassion and admiration she deserves. In her time there had been no courageous First Lady like Betty Ford to help people understand the power of addiction. There was no treatment center. In Mary Todd Lincoln’s time there were many addicts at all levels of society, as there are now, but it was a more socially acceptable condition for men to have than for women. More importantly, addiction was not very well understood, and it was often mistreated. Because Mary Todd Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Lincoln, made a great effort to protect his mother and his family from journalists and historians, he intentionally destroyed most of Mary Todd Lincoln’s medical records and many of her letters. What he could not destroy, however, is the record of Mary Todd Lincoln’s pain and the record of how she behaved while living with this pain. In The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, we can see clearly, for the first time, what Mary Todd Lincoln had to live with and the courage it took for her to carry on.

This is a free limited preview edition. The full book is avialable for puchase from http://lincoln.coffeetownpress.com.
Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the president we have immortalized, has always been difficult for us to understand. She could appear poised and brilliant one moment yet rude and ugly the next. Sometimes competent and strong, able to entertain dignitaries from around the world, at other times she appeared dependent and weak. At times she seemed utterly beside herself with sobbing and screaming. Historians have mostly avoided saying very much about Mary Todd Lincoln except in reference to her husband, Abraham. To many it would seem that Mary Todd Lincoln is still an embarrassment in the tragic story of her martyred husband. But Mary Todd Lincoln lived her own tragic story even before Abraham was murdered. She was an addict, addicted to the opiates she needed for her migraine headaches. Seeing Mary Todd Lincoln as an addict helps us understand her and give her the compassion and admiration she deserves. In her time there had been no courageous First Lady like Betty Ford to help people understand the power of addiction. There was no treatment center. In Mary Todd Lincoln’s time there were many addicts at all levels of society, as there are now, but it was a more socially acceptable condition for men to have than for women. More importantly, addiction was not very well understood, and it was often mistreated. Because Mary Todd Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Lincoln, made a great effort to protect his mother and his family from journalists and historians, he intentionally destroyed most of Mary Todd Lincoln’s medical records and many of her letters. What he could not destroy, however, is the record of Mary Todd Lincoln’s pain and the record of how she behaved while living with this pain. In The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, we can see clearly, for the first time, what Mary Todd Lincoln had to live with and the courage it took for her to carry on.

This is a free limited preview edition. The full book is avialable for puchase from http://lincoln.coffeetownpress.com.

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Publish date: Jan 1, 2009
Added to Scribd: Apr 13, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

 
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COFFEETOWN PRESS
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The Addiction of  
Mary Todd Lincoln 
 
 
The AddictionofMary ToddLincoln
Anne E. Beidler
Seattle, WA 
 
 
The Addiction of Mrs. Lincoln
was first published in 2009.Copyright © 2009 by Coffeetown Press All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced orused in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means without the prior written permission of the publisher, who may becontacted by e-mail at the address at the bottom of this page.Cover design by Sabrina S. BeidlerFor information regarding special discounts for bulk purchases,please contact Coffeetown Press by e-mail at:
info@coffeetownpress.com
.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Beidler, Anne E., 1940-The addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln / Anne E. Beidler.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references.ISBN 978-1-60381-021-0 (alk. paper)1. Lincoln, Mary Todd, 1818-1882--Health. 2. Lincoln, Mary Todd,1818-1882--Mental health. 3. Presidents’ spouses--United States--Biography. 4. Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Family. 5. Migraine--United States--Case studies. 6. Drug addiction--United States--Case studies. 7. Morphine abuse--United States--Case studies. I.Title.E457.25.L55B45 2009973.7092--dc22
2009002186

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