Thursday, September 06, 2012

Mary Lincoln Trial

Mary Lincoln was committed by her son and there has been much speculation if she was actually insane.  So a historic group is retrying her!
The dueling legal teams will dress in period clothes from the era but will argue their case relying on current law. Actors will play the roles of Mary Todd Lincoln and Robert Todd Lincoln, but real-life judges will serve as lawyers for each side in the re-creation of the case. Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar will narrate the trial.
And adding more theatricality to the performance, members of the audience will reportedly serve as jury.
Mary Todd Lincoln spent about four months in the Bellevue Place sanitarium after being declared insane in 1875. However, after secretly communicating with her lawyer and writing a letter to the Chicago Times, she was eventually released. In a letter written in August 1875, Lincoln wondered why her son Robert had seemingly turned on her. She later came to believe that her son's actions were an attempt to take control of her finances:
"It does not appear that God is good, to have placed me here. I endeavor to read my Bible and offer up my petitions three times a day," Lincoln wrote. "But my afflicted heart fails me and my voice often falters in prayer. I have worshipped my son and no unpleasant word ever passed between us, yet I cannot understand why I should have been brought out here."
The letter is just one of 25 written by Mary Todd Lincoln during her "insanity period" and was believed to have been burned by Robert Todd Lincoln. However, the letters were discovered in 2006 in a steamer trunk owned by the children of Robert Todd Lincoln's attorney.

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