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American Experience

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided (Pt.3) (#1309)

Elected president only to see the nation fracture in two, Lincoln led a confused and frightened people through the most terrible war in their history. At the same time, his own household mirrored the fissures that rent the nation: the great emancipator was married to the daughter of a slave owner from Kentucky. Mary Todd Lincoln was an aristocratic southerner who met Lincoln when he was still a backwoods politician lacking in experience and sophistication. Although she remained fiercely loyal to her husband and the Union cause, two of her brothers fought for the South. Their marriage was long and turbulent, and knew many trials, including the loss of two children. This mini-series weaves together the lives of the two Lincolns, drawing us into their long-vanished world. Opposition to the Emancipation Proclamation and continued defeats of the Union Army threaten Lincoln's reelection, but by the time of the vote the tide--both martial and popular--is turned and Lincoln secures another term in the White House. In a victory speech, Lincoln advocates citizenship for freed black Americans, angering a Confederate sympathizer in the crowd and leading ultimately to his famous assassination in Ford's theater. Following his death, Mary is unable to mourn and the subsequent death of her youngest son leads to her commitment to an asylum. [115 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation.

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