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What Was It Like To Be Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker?

012213marylincoln - loc.jpg
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

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.”

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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