Her only child, George, was named after her father. George's father was a friend and neighbor of the Colonel's son. George was born through an unwanted and forced relationship. Lizzie went on to marrie James Keckly in 1852 and within a few years found out he was not emancipated and was an alcoholic. Lizzie's master had promised she could buy freedom for herself and her son after he died; but she did not have the money when he passed away. Thanks to the generosity of one of her patrons, she was loaned the $1,200 she needed for their freedom.
Lizzie had quite a list of accomplishments during her life including:
1. Starting a school for young black girls to teach them sewing and etiquette in Baltimore, Maryland (her first home after she gained her freedom).
2. She was the personal dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln after her work on Mary's Inaugural Ball gown pleased the President and Mrs Lincoln very much.
3. President and founder of the first Black Contraband Relief Association.
4. Lizzie was Mary Todd Lincoln's best friend and confidante. She seemed to be the only person who understood and tolerated Mary's unstable temperament and sharp tongue.
5. Wrote a book, Behind the Scenes, about the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, and the happenings in the White House during Lincoln's tenure. The book was very controversial and Mary Todd's eldest son had the book removed from publication.
Here's to another Gutsy Woman!
Copyright M. A. Webb, 2005. All Rights Reserved
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