The Surratt Courier. The Surratt Society. Volume XXXV No. 8, August 2010.
Today's mail brought the new issue of The Surratt Courier newsletter. A very nice issue this month with several interesting things.
The main article this month deals with Elizabeth Keckly. Keckly was born a slave in 1818. After the death of her owner Keckly was able to borrow the money to purchase freedom for her and her son. She was soon able to repay the loan through money earned as a seamstress and dressmaker. Keckly soon was sewing for the wealthy and powerful including Mrs. Stephen A. Douglas, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, and Mrs. Jefferson Davis. Keckly declined an offer to move south with the Davis family preferring to stay in Washington D.C. By fortunate chance she became the dressmaker for Mary Lincoln. Keckly and Mrs. Lincoln were to become close friends with Keckly attending to Mrs. Lincoln in the days after her husbands death. Later Keckly published the book Behind the Scenes or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. The publication of the book cost her the friendship of Mrs. Lincoln who felt betrayed by some of the material disclosed. The tie to the Surratt Society is the efforts put forth to find and mark the lost grave of Elizabeth Keckly.
Also included is a brief article reprint dealing with the story of the boots Abraham Lincoln was wearing on the night of his assassination and how they came into the possession of the National Park Service. An announcement of a new book, My Thoughts Be Bloody, which is a new John Wilkes Booth biography written by Nora Titone is included. Did sibling rivalry lead Booth to murder President Lincoln? We'll have to read the book and find out. The Surratt society is on the verge of turning 35. An announcement concerning a sternwheeler cruise to celebrate is included. Join members on board the Cherry Blossom for a Potomac River cruise. Scheduled for Sunday September 26 this looks like it would be a fun event. Cost is $40. Also, a dues reminder for the upcoming year is included. For $7 this is a great membership.