Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Mrs. Keckley and Mrs. Lincoln

Posted on: December 5, 2011

When I visited  Ford’s  theater earlier this year I learned  walking tours of downtown DC led by “Mrs. Keckely” are offered. Bummer!  I would have loved to learn more about Mrs. Keckley’s neighborhood, but  was unable to go for a tour that day.

I met Mrs. Keckley in Mrs. Keckly* and Mrs. Lincoln, a fascinating biography by Jennefir Fleischner about Mary Todd Lincoln’s friendship with Elizabeth Keckly, a former slave who was her seamstress and friend.   I searched the American Memory Collections for more information and located Mrs. Keckley’s Behind the Scenes, an early DC insider book that was also an interesting read.  Both books rank high on my memorable books list.


Behind the scenes.: By Elizabeth Keckley. Or, Thirty years a slave, and four years in the White House.
1868 Atlantic Monthly review of Behind the Scenes
The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana  A [Bookmark prospectus for three works by Willsie Morrow: With malice toward none; Forever free; and Mary Todd Lincoln.]
Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
Object of History: The Keckley/Lincoln Dress
   A lively, fun Smithsonian teaching activity!

**Keckly is spelled without the e in the book title; both spellings appear in published works.

Share ideas for using  wonderful primary resources like these in your classroom:
Online course: Teaching with Primary Sources, Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas


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