Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1961), 6: 266.
During the presidency of her husband, Mrs. Lincoln, in what Stoddard called her “somewhat authoritative” way, gave special attention to levees and other social affairs. A Southern lady in the White House, she was subjected to criticism, much of which was gossip and malicious slander; certainly the imputations of disloyalty were unfounded. Even the touches of social gayety with which she relieved the strain of wartime anxiety were criticized as inappropriate. She suffered during the war by reason of divisions in her own family (her sister’s husband, Ben. H. Helm, being a Confederate general), and by the crushing bereavement of her son Willie’s death.