|The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
18th November 2010
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Winchell Hayward.
Guests were introduced, including Carol Fleming's guests, Fred and Shirley Martin. Shirley is a
descendant of a relative of Mary Todd Lincoln - very appropriate for tonight's subject!
Art Buckley introduced two more new guests, Steve and Cosme.
Wayne Padgett reported on the sucess of the West Coast Conference (November 12 - 14).
A stunning panel of top-class speakers provided two days of top-class presentations to a sold-out
audience. More details will follow.
Complimentary copies of the Civil War News and The Artilleryman were distributed, thanks to
editor Ed Bonekemper.
Gildo Lopez presented each attendee with Confederate banknotes. Unfortunately it was
subsequently discovered that the bartender would not accept them.
A raffle of donated books was held, to raise funds for our Civil War Sesquicentennial High
School Essay Contest. More on this later.
Our presenter was long-time SFCWRT member and native San Franciscan, Art Buckley, who
spoke on "The Triumphs and Tragedies of Mary Todd Lincoln."
Art had obviously done extensive research on his subject, and took us through Mary Todd's genteel
upbringing and her on again - off again courtship by the lanky backwoodsman Lincoln. He followed
Mary's joys and sorrows from the early days of their marriage and the birth of their children, to their
arrival in the White House. Her rejection by Washington society and unending vilification by the press
were hard to bear. The deaths of her children were devastating, and the assassination of her husband
would have felled a less resilient woman. The later chapters of Mary's life, which included being
declared insane by her remaining son Robert, heaped more indignity and stress on the grieving
widow. Art presented a very sympathetic view of a woman who did not always received good press,
then or now, and who lived in an age when women of character struggled to be taken seriously.
|Carol Fleming and Shirley Martin
and Mel Clark