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Mary Lincoln, Holy Bible, Signed by Mrs. Lincoln


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Mary Lincoln Signature in Holy Bible, Signed and Dated “Mary Lincoln/1875”

Mary Lincoln signed this bible just four years after Tad’s death. Mary would die on the exact same day as Tad, eleven years later.

In May of 1875, Mary Lincoln was on trial for her sanity. Unaware that there was even a trial scheduled, she was brought before the court. Her attorney, a colleague of Roberts, called no witnesses on her behalf.

When testifying, Robert said  “I have no doubt my mother is insane. She has long been a source of great anxiety to me.”  Given the rudimentary nature of mental health treatment and Mary’s long history of loss and anxiety, Mary Lincoln was ruled insane and sent to Bellevue Place in Batavia, IL. Robert knew the facility director and comforted himself by knowing she was only 90 minutes away.

With the help of attorney James Bradwell and fearless advocating by his wife, Chicago Legal News founder, Myra Bradwell,  Mary managed secure gain her release. Myra Bradwell told a Chicago newspaper reporter, “Mary Lincoln is no more insane than I am.” Mary was released on September 11, 1875.  She stayed with her sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Ninian and Edwards. The following summer Mary was officially declared sane in a Chicago court.

It was a time when Mrs. Lincoln was very worried about money. Religion and spiritualism also played a large role in Victorian culture during the era. This Bible was probably consulted frequently and perhaps even taken to Belleview Place.

Excellent condition; spine re-backed and hinges strengthen.

Lincoln, Mary THE HOLY BIBLE CONTAINING THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS …APPOINTED TO BE READ IN CHURCHES. Cambridge & New York, no date. Signed on blank title-facing page, “Mary Lincoln / 1875”. Full leather; all edges gilt; 1,216 pages. On the front flyleaf, which is black, is a diminutive “A. Lincoln” in red pen — an obvious forgery! Housed in a 1/2-morocco slipcase with inner protective wrapper; the spine is titled in gold, but misstates that the “A. Lincoln” signature is “stamped.” Additional related ephemera showing provenance as well as authentication documentation by Charles Hamilton.