Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Mary Lincoln’s financial woes
SPRINGFIELD — In 1865, Mary Lincoln was a frantic widow worried about paying down her enormous debt. Benjamin B. Sherman was a generous Wall Street banker. Concerned about Mrs. Lincoln, he raised money from coast to coast to help the slain president’s family.
Today, his descendants have donated records of that fundraising, along with original letters by Mary Lincoln and Robert Lincoln, to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
They show a calm son turning down his share of the donated money, and a frightened mother convinced she was on the verge of financial ruin. They also reveal a generous nation, with contributions coming in from Iowa to Maine, and even from the South.
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