The First Ladies during the Civil War

It is not easy being a First Lady, especially when the country is at war.

Lecture Description

The War brought unprecedented attention to the role of First Lady, but Mary Todd Lincoln and Varina Howell Davis were both controversial in their era. Both women were expected to represent the two causes, yet they each had relatives in the enemy army. Mrs. Lincoln also faltered because of her mismanagement of the White House, and Mrs. Davis drew criticism because of her lack of faith in the Confederate war effort. Their experiences reveal the great demands on First Ladies in time of war.


Civil War and Reconstruction Women

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