Most of us know that Abraham Lincoln had a difficult marriage, but few realize the extent of the problems. In fact, Lincoln was a victim of physical and psychological abuse, who actually separated from his wife for an extended period of time prior to his rise to political power. However, despite having few friends and many enemies, as well as a relatively well documented history of outrageous conduct. Mary Todd has a story to tell as well. At her best, she is a devoted mother and doting wife. Her wealthy family provided substantial financial support to the young couple early in the marriage, Without her husband, she has little or no ability to support herself, She would require substantial assistance in order to survive, at a time when public assistance scarcely existed.
Our story opens in eighteen fifty seven. Lincoln has a blossoming legal career, and a limited success as a politician. He has not yet seriously considered a run for the highest political office in the land. He decides, with some justification, that he cannot continue in his marriage. If the case were tried. What would be the result?