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Mourning in America: Death in the Civil War White Houses

Join us as professor Catherine Clinton discusses how both Pres. Abraham Lincoln, and Confederate Pres. Jefferson Davis suffered the loss of a child in their respective White Houses. This is not an unusual circumstance for the majority of American parents in the nineteenth century, but a very poignant reminder of life's fragility, especially during the Civil War, which robbed over 700,000 families of sons within an intense, four year period. The circumstances leading up to and surrounding the death of Willie Lincoln in 1862 and the tragic accident which robbed the Davis family of their young son, Joseph in 1864 are explored in brief, with an extended treatment of the sentimentalization of Victorian mourning, the rise of the "Black branch " of the fashion industry, and the widespread embrace of rituals of grief and symbols of remembrance in every day American life during the Civil War.

Event begins at 12:00PM

Presented by: National Archives

Event Venue

The National Archives Building

700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408
  • Friday, March 29, 2013
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