You Ok, Mary? Female Historians Consider Mary Lincoln

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Location: 

  • Illinois State Museum, Springfield

Event Venue: 

Online

Event Audience: 

Adult
Teen

Fee: 

Free with Registration

From the moment Mary Lincoln became a public figure, many men have sought to label her, define her, and defame her.   From 19th century journalists and biographers to 21st-century scholars, we have seen Mary painted as unstable, mean-spirited, and "crazy". This picture continues today. But was that really who Mary Lincoln was? She was more than just a president’s wife. She was a grieving mother, public figure, and complex individual. Join in this panel discussion with three female historians as we hold an empathetic, evidence-based discussion about Mary Lincoln. Go beyond the surface stereotypes to learn more about this remarkable woman, and bring your questions for our experts to answer!

Panelists are Callie Hawkins, Director of Programming at President Lincoln's Cottage; Stacy McDermott, author of Mary Lincoln: Southern Girl, Northern Woman, and Erika Holst, Curator of History at the Illinois State Museum.

Advanced registration is required at https://bit.ly/YouOkMary. The event will be recorded and shared on the Illinois State Museum Youtube Page. For more information please contact events@illinoisstatemuseum.org or (217) 782-6044.

Certified Professional Development Units (CPDU) hours for Illinois Educators will be offered for this program. For additional information and questions, please contact lorna.shuman@illinois.gov

Callie Hawkins is the Director of Programming at President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC. Additionally, Callie co-produces and co-hosts Q&Abe, the site’s award-winning podcast, which has reached thousands of people in more than 60 countries. Callie has a BA in English from Clemson University and an MA in American Studies from the College of William and Mary.

Stacy Pratt McDermott holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is the author of numerous articles and two books, including Mary Lincoln: Southern Girl, Northern Woman (Routledge, 2015). After serving as the Director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln for twenty years, she is now the Associate Editor of the Jane Addams Papers. Currently, she is working on a biography of Abraham Lincoln, analyzing his life through the lens of his various relationships with women, including the romantic, legal, and political.

Erika Holst is the Curator of History at the Illinois State Museum. Before joining the Illinois State Museum, Erika served as Curator of Collections at the Edwards Place in Springfield, IL, where she did extensive research on the lives of women in Lincoln-era Springfield. Holst’s publications include Wicked Springfield: Crime, Corruption, and Scandal During the Lincoln Era, Edwards Place: A Springfield Treasure, and Historic Houses of Lincoln’s Illinois, as well as several scholarly and popular articles. 

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress. 

Mary Lincoln sitting, wearing a dress with flowers on it, black and white photo.

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