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Keckley Essay

1263 words - 6 pages

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is a very old saying that means not to judge someone or something based on what they look like on the outside. In her memoir Behind the Scenes, Elizabeth Keckley gives us an inside look at president Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and lets us look inside her own life. Elizabeth Keckley was a black slave that bought her own freedom. She worked as a seamstress for many wealthy people; including working inside the white house for Mary Todd Lincoln. In the memoir, Keckley explains her life at the white house with the Lincoln’s; including both the good and bad times. Keckley created a relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln that started out to be just ...view middle of the document...

My goat is far above him” (Keckley 179). Lincoln compared his goats to a humanlike job. A bounty jumper was one who during the Civil War enlisted in the U.S service to get a bounty [or money] then get deserted (Merriam Webster). Lincoln loved his goats as if they were his own children and he was very simple man.
Lincoln was also a very affectionate person. Keckley explains that Mr. Lincoln would tell her about many times that him and the children would laugh together, play outside for hours and the fun they had while playing with the goats (Keckley 178-179). When we think of presidents we think of them as never having time to enjoy themselves much less spend time with their family. It doesn’t matter how busy Mr. Lincoln was he always made time for his wife and children. He always compliments Mrs. Lincoln; Keckley recalls that President Lincoln had said, “I declare you look charming in that dress. Mrs. Keckley has met with great success” (Keckley 178). Lincoln was very affectionate and loved his family first and foremost. They were his number one priority in life.
Behind every man there is a good woman. This may not always be the case; behind President Lincoln was a woman that was bold and irritable. Mrs. Lincoln always expected the best from anyone that was around her. Keckley competed with many other dress makers to become a dress maker for Mrs. Lincoln. Keckley remembers being in a room with three other dress makers that were all waiting to be interviewed (Keckley 177). She was the very last dressmaker to be seen, all the others did not meet Mrs. Lincolns perfections. Keckley recalls a moment when she made a dress for Mrs. Lincoln and she finished it just on time and when she delivered it to Mrs. Lincoln she stated,” But you are not in time, Mrs. Keckley; you have bitterly disappointed me. I have no time now to dress, and what is more, I will not dress and go downstairs” (Keckley 178) “After Willie’s death, she could not bear the sight of anything he loved, not even a flower. (Keckley 180)
Mrs. Lincoln was also a very bold lady. After a child dies a family morns over their death and keeps something’s that belong to the child. This was not the case with Mrs. Lincoln, Keckley recalls that, “After Willie’s death, she could not bear the sight of anything he loved, not even a flower (Keckley 180). People would send flowers and gifts and Mrs. Lincoln would put them in a room that she could not see them in (Keckley 180).
Although Mrs. Lincoln was difficult and bold, she was very strong women for her husband and her...

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