The American Experience: Season 13, Episode 8

Abraham and Mary Lincoln, A House Divided Part 2 - We Are Elected (20 Feb. 2001)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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Title: Abraham and Mary Lincoln, A House Divided Part 2 - We Are Elected (20 Feb 2001)

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Episode credited cast:
Jean Harvey Baker ...
David Herbert Donald ...
Union Infantryman (as Kevin Hershberger)
Mary Lincoln (voice)
David E. Long ...
David McCullough ...
Himself / Narrator
Donald Miller ...
Mary Genevieve Murphy ...
Mark E. Neely Jr. ...
Union Infantryman
Charles B. Strozier ...
Linda Levitt Turner ...
Margaret Washington ...


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Release Date:

20 February 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

5 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the first part of a six-part series on the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. Two parts are shown on each DVD in the collection.

Most today don't realize that the Lincoln marriage was very, very troubled. Part of it was due to the depression that both Abe and Mary experienced and part of it was due to increasingly irrational behaviors of Mary--which only got worse after her husband's assassination. However, this being the first episode, it focuses much less on their problems and much more on the early life of Abe--from his birth until he is, rather miraculously, elected president. Considering Lincoln's rather mediocre political career up until then, it's a wonder that he became president--having only served one term in Congress and a couple terms in the state legislature.

This second episode was specifically about the early years of the Lincoln marriage. At this point, while Mary had a tendency to get bored and Abe had a tendency to withdraw into himself and avoid intimacy, at this point the Lincoln marriage seemed reasonably normal. But, with the death of one of their children, Mary began to become more depressed and also began spending money they simply didn't own--shades of what would later seriously wrack their marriage. In addition to the marriage, the show focuses on Lincoln's political career--from Congressman to day he was elected President.

Overall, an exceptional episode and one whose significance will become more obvious in later episodes of this interesting program about our 16th President.

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