Tomb Case 3

AC-LR207 – Music Box

L2 I724w vols 1-3

Mary Lincoln and the Arts

When we tell Mary Lincoln’s story, we tend to focus on her relationship with her famous husband or the immense trauma she endured. Yet Mary lived a full life and had varied interests, especially in the arts. These objects reflect Mary’s enthusiasm for culture and her habit of buying elements of it for herself and those she loved.

The books are the first three volumes of The Works of Washington Irving, comprising several stories, including “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Mary has inscribed most of them with her name and “1860,” suggesting they were possibly intended for her White House library. The music box was a gift for her sister Frances Todd Wallace. Made in Europe, it reflects not just Mary’s love of music but her willingness to share it in a technologically advanced way. It plays 10 operatic airs and still functions.

Music Box gift of Florence J. Patteson, 1976

Books gift of Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, 1978

Label Audio

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