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Month: August 2018

Elizabeth Keckley and Jefferson Davis’s Dress

Here’s one that, until very recently, would have had be called “Cemetery Mixtape: Unmarked.” Elizabeth Keckley (or Keckly) was born a slave, bought her freedom as an adult, and became a modiste (dressmaker) for Mary Todd Lincoln throughout her years in the White House, eventually becoming a confidante of both Mrs. Lincoln and the President. Her whole life story is wonderfully told in her 1868 autobiography, Behind the Scenes. While her time with the Lincolns and the book have made her a relatively well-known historical figure, it’s not as well remembered that, before coming to work for the Lincolns, she…