In the mid-1800s Elizabeth Keckley was a slave living in St. Louis.
As a highly skilled dressmaker, she was eventually able to earn the money to buy her freedom.
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of a new book about Elizabeth Keckley. She writes about Keckley moving from St. Louis to Washington D.C. and becoming First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal dressmaker.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Erin Williams talked with Chiaverini about her new book, “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.”
On July 7, 1865, Mary Surratt became the first woman executed by the federal government when she was hanged for her role in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Surratt owned the boarding house in Washington, D.C. where many of the conspirators lived and met. Her own son John was an active participant in the plot. But the depth of her involvement was as hotly debated then as it is now.
A unique collaboration allowed Illinois residents to be a part of that debate and to rewrite a small part of history, if just for the night.