Marriage License of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd

This marriage license uniting Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd was issued by Sangamon County and signed by County Clerk Noah W. Matheny and Reverend Charles Dresser on November 4th, 1842. The hasty decision by the couple to have their ceremony with virtually no warning meant that only a handful of guests could be assembled and neither the bride’s nor groom’s parents would be on hand for the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, the Lincolns did not take a honeymoon but rather moved quickly into a Springfield boarding house known as the Globe Tavern, paying $4 per week for room and board. The abrupt nature of the decision to wed Mary Todd may be best reflected in a letter that Lincoln wrote one week after the ceremony to Samuel Marshall. Lincoln closed saying “Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me, is matter of profound wonder.”

Case Label Audio

Marriage License for Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd, 4 November 1842


To any Minister of the Gospel, or other authorised Person–GREETING.

THESE are to License and permit you to join in the holy bands of Matrimony Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd of the County of Sangamon and State of Illinois, and for so doing, this shall be your sufficient warrant.

Given under my hand and seal of office, at Springfield, in said County this 4th day of Novemb 1842 .

N W Matheny Clerk.


Document Date: 11/04/1842
endorsement Author: Dresser, Charles

Solemnized on the same 4th day of Nov. 1842–

Charles Dresser

Letter Audio

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