The marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd, originally slated for Nov. 3, 1842, was held one day later than planned, due to a meeting of the Episcopal sewing society at the home where the wedding would be held (that of Mary Todd’s guardian) and due to the fact that the evening meal had already been ordered!
Their relationship began at a Cotillion when Abe came up to Mary and told her how badly he wished to dance with her. The very next night he was calling on her. Over the next few years they saw each other, and became secretly engaged. At one point they broke up for about 18 months. Friends conspired to reunite them, and they did begin seeing each other again; then with barely a day’s notice, were wed. About 30 relatives and friends received invites to the wedding. As it was apparently an impulsive decision, Abe asked his friend James Harvey Matheny to be his best man on the day of the wedding!
As of this writing I have been unable to locate information on any wedding music from the Abraham Lincoln-Mary Todd wedding. Please leave a comment below if you can help with this information.
Mary was not without other suitors – the noted lawyer and politician Stephen Douglas courted her as well; Douglas would later be a political rival of Abe’s (you may remember the great Lincoln – Douglas debates from history class), defeating him in the race for an Illinois senate seat.
Following the wedding their was much joy and merriment, and after an evening of celebration despite the rainy weather that day, Abraham and Mary left for the Globe Tavern in Springfield where they would live for the first few years of their marriage, and where their first child, Robert Todd Lincoln, would be born.
Contrary to what we might have thought or expected, the marriage of Abraham and Mary was filled with strife and difficulty. Mary Todd was used to worldly goods, while Abe came from abject poverty. She was very educated, but Abraham had only a modicum of formal schooling. However, they both shared a love for politics and poetry, and Mary supported him staunchly in his political endeavors. They remained married until Abe’s untimely death at the hands of John Wilke’s Booth in 1865.