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During the stress of the Civil War, First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln found solace in a close relationship with her black seamstree Elizabeth Keckley. A former slave, Keckley had bought her freedom in 1855 and built a thriving clothing business in Washington. She won the job as Mrs. Lincoln's personal dressmaker in 1861, and soon became a fixture in the inner circle of the White House. She was one of the few who could calm Lincoln's nerves.

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Wedding day photograph of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd taken November 4, 1842 in Springfield, Illinois after three years of a stormy courtship and a broken engagement.

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