houses, dark emotions
Historian to speak at Lincoln Presidential Museum on how Civil War
White Houses, both North and South, mourned after tragedies
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[March 22, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- Abraham Lincoln
and Jefferson Davis had more in common than the Civil War and the
title of president. They also suffered the loss of a young son while
Catherine Clinton, noted historian and consultant to the movie
"Lincoln," will discuss how the two White Houses mourned those
losses as she gives a presentation on April 2 at the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum. "Mourning in America: Death in the
Civil War White Houses" will begin at 6 p.m. in the museum’s Union
Already facing the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln
experienced death in a more personal way when his son Willie died in
1862, apparently from typhoid. And at the Confederate White House in
Richmond, Davis lost his son Joseph to an accidental fall in 1864.
The customs surrounding death during the Victorian Era differed
sharply from modern practices. Funeral services were more elaborate.
Grieving was more public. Mourning clothes were so pervasive that
they spawned a "black branch" of the fashion industry.
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Clinton is a history professor at Queen’s University in Belfast,
Northern Ireland. Her books include "Mrs. Lincoln: A Life" and
"Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom."
She also provided guidance on costumes for "Lincoln."
Her presentation at the museum is free, but reservations are
required. To reserve tickets, visit
www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov and click on "Special
event tickets and reservations."
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
file received from the