Mary Todd saw something in Lincoln others didn’t see
The Lincolns statue in Springfield
As a young woman in that era with her station in life- she was expected to marry a man of means and importance. Mary Todd came from a wealthy family and received a fine education. She was well-mannered in the ways of polite society. She would bring many things to a marriage. Yet, Abraham Lincoln, the man she did choose-didn’t seem to “fit the bill.” He wasn’t wealthy. He was ill-mannered-and by many accounts was homely in appearance. He hardly educated. He didn’t spring from a “prominent” family. Her family was not in favor of Lincoln as a choice. So what did Mary see that, perhaps, others didn’t? Author Bernhardt Wall partly answers the question his book Following Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865:
“…Mary knew instinctively that he had a future. She had decided in her own mind that he was her man more than was Douglas or any other men she met at the round of parties that year in Springfield. Opposition from her sister and husband only fired her determination. It was of no use to argue with Mary that she was throwing herself away. They became engaged. This man and this woman, representing the two extremes of Kentucky society, were to be united in marriage. She would prove that it was a good match, all family opposition to the contrary.”
So there it was. Mary Todd had chosen Abraham Lincoln because she saw his potential. She felt he had a “future.” She looked beyond all the barriers that were preventing others to see what she saw. And she truly fell in love with him, I think. It is that way in our lives, isn’t it? Maybe we are too quick to “size up” other people. Maybe we need to consider others sometimes as “diamonds in the rough.” Maybe if we don’t do that-we will miss an opportunity to see another grow and become someone we never could imagine. We will be the losers when that happens. Maybe we will miss out on an opportunity to get to know another person like Abraham Lincoln. Think about it.
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Tags: abraham Lincoln, Bernhardt Wall, Following Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865, Mary Todd