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Justice Frank J. and Virginia Williams


This handwritten account of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln's courtship, wedding, marriage, and relationship is relayed by Emilie Todd Helm, Mary Todd Lincoln's half sister. Helm's telling of the story relays that Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln had a small wedding and a strong, respectful marriage. Helm discounts the rumors that Lincoln had many love affairs between the time he met Mary Todd and when they married stating that since Mary Todd went to Springfield in 1839 and she and Lincoln married in 1840, "there certainly could not have been so many love affairs." Helm's account includes excerpts of letters she received from Mary Todd Lincoln from February 3, 1852, November 23, 1856, February 16, 1857, and September 20, 1857. Helm's account ends with describing Mary Todd Lincoln's final days, her death, and funeral.


Copyright protected by Mississippi State University Libraries. Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required.


Lincoln, Mary Todd, 1818-1882; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865; Helm, Emilie Todd, 1836-1930

Object Type


Format (original)


Format (digital)


Digital ID



Mississippi State University Libraries, Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, Original Manuscript Collection, Series 5: Miscellaneous Materials, 1838-1931, Box 1, Folder 187


The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana Repository

Digital Publisher

Mississippi State University Libraries (electronic version).

Contact Information

For more information about the contents of this collection, email

Emilie Todd Helm's Account of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln's Marriage, Relationship and Lives



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