Elizabeth Keckley

Elizabeth Keckley

Brought to St. Louis in 1847 by her slave owners, Elizabeth Keckley honed her skills as a dressmaker and was able to buy her freedom in 1855.  She moved to Washington D.C. in 1860, cultivated an elite clientele, and became the personal dressmaker and confidante of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.  In 1862 Keckley founded the Contraband Relief Association to provide assistance to recently freed slaves and wounded soldiers.  Her 1868 memoir Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, is one of the best accounts of the Lincolns’ private life, and offers a powerful narrative of Elizabeth Keckley’s struggle from slavery to freedom.

Birthday: 02/2018
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