Oneida Public Library News
(Oneida, NY – March 2013) Lincoln scholar and author Jason Emerson will appear at Oneida Public Library Saturday March 2 at 2 p.m. to reveal the personal life of Abraham Lincoln at home in the White House with his wife Mary and his sons Robert, William (“Willie”) and Thomas (“Tad”).
While the Civil War ravaged the country, at times even within shooting-distance of the capital, the Lincoln family attempted to live a normal life in the White House. But their lives were far from normal, darkened by illnesses, the death of a much-loved son, Mary’s instability and public unpopularity, Lincoln’s crushing burdens as president and commander in chief and the dangers posed by enemies, both Confederate and Union.
Emerson, who resides in Cazenovia, is well versed in Lincoln’s public and private life and has made a career in doing original research and writing about Lincoln as private citizen, his wife Mary Todd and their children.
Last year was a banner year for Emerson with the publication of his definitive biography “Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln” and “Mary Lincoln’s Insanity Case: A Documentary History.”
“Giant in the Shadows” is the story of Lincoln’s eldest son Robert, from his birth in a boarding house in 1843 to his death in 1926, publically hailed as an eminent lawyer, highly respected statesman and wealthy businessman. Emerson focuses particularly on Robert’s relationship with his famous father and his mentally unstable mother.
Emerson’s history of Mary Todd Lincoln centers on her mental condition after her husband’s assassination until her death. In that time, she suffered the death of her son Tad, prosecution in an insanity trial instigated by her son Robert, incarceration in an insane asylum and the opprobrium of the American public. To tell the story, Emerson presents more than a hundred letters, newspaper articles, legal documents, the trial transcript, doctors’ reports and the reminiscences of friends and acquaintances.
Emerson is also the author of “Lincoln the Inventor: and “The Madness of Mary Lincoln.” His book “Lincoln’s Lover: Mary Lincoln in Poetry” will be published soon. He is currently at work on a history of Robert Lincoln’s home in Hildene, Vt.
Emerson’s lecture Lincoln and His Family is free and open to the public.
For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 363-3050.