Discover America's most fascinating first lady during a visit to her girlhood home.
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Exterior of the Mary Todd Lincoln House
The house has been a part of Lexington's downtown landscape for over two hundred years. It was originally built for a French quarryman who operated it as an inn.
Entrance of the Mary Todd Lincoln House
In 1832, when Mary Todd was thirteen, her family moved from nearby Short Street to the then newly renovated house that fronts Main Street.
Family Parlor of the Mary Todd Lincoln House
The Family Parlor features several Todd-family artifacts, including the center table.
The Todd's Family Parlor, looking into the Dining Room
Abraham Lincoln would have been entertained in these rooms during his three-week stay in 1849. The Lincolns were traveling to Washington for Abraham's first, and only, congressional term.
The Dining Room table
The dining room illustrates the social background that prepared Mary Lincoln for her role as hostess of the White House. Slavery helped to make the Todds' lifestyle possible, and an average of five enslaved people labored here.
The Back Parlor
The Todds entertained prominent guests in the formal Double Parlors, including famed Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. Abraham Lincoln greatly admired Clay, referring to him as his "beau ideal" of a politician.
The Children's Room
Mary Todd Lincoln was one of sixteen children born to her father's two marriages. Growing up in a large family may have prepared Mrs. Lincoln to be mother to the four sons she and Abraham Lincoln adored.
The Master Bedroom
Mrs. Lincoln’s father Robert and step-mother Betsy shared the Master bedroom. Betsy gave birth to five of their nine children in this home. Mrs. Lincoln was among the seven children born to Robert's first marriage to Eliza Parker, who died from childbirth complications.
Desk with miniature painting of Charlotte Mentelle
Mary Todd Lincoln enjoyed an extensive education, including attending the boarding and finishing school operated by Charlotte Mentelle. With about ten years of formal schooling, Mary was better educated than many women of the time and continued to read widely throughout her life.
Mary Todd Lincoln painting in the front parlor
This original portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln was painted by Daniel Huntington in 1864 while she was First Lady. Mrs. Lincoln was forty-five at the time of the sitting.
Playbill from the night of Lincoln's assassination
The tour covers Mrs. Lincoln's entire life, including the evening her husband was assassinated. An original playbill from Ford’s Theatre promoting Our American Cousin—the play the Lincolns attended the night he was assassinated- is in the center of this grouping.
Meissen Porcelain Perfume Jars
These two German-made Meissen porcelain perfume jars belonged to Mrs. Lincoln and may have been purchased during one of her two extended visits to Europe following Abraham Lincoln's death.
The Pantry of the Mary Todd Lincoln House
African Americans enslaved by the Todd family would have performed household chores in the pantry of the Mary Todd Lincoln House.
Today, the 14 room house is used to tell the remarkable story of Mary Todd Lincoln to thousands of visitors from around the world. The garden behind the home offers a peaceful respite for our visitors.