Mary Lincoln’s Kitchen Stove

Image of Mary Lincoln's kitchen stove.
Finding joy in the little things

Mary Lincoln did not know how to cook when she first married Abraham Lincoln, having grown up in homes with slaves in Kentucky. She quickly learned over the large, open fireplace in her new home, but the addition of a wall dividing the kitchen from the dining room destroyed the fireplace and gave Mary a chance to acquire a cook stove. After Mr. Lincoln’s nomination to the Presidency, Mary realized she was going to be doing a lot of entertaining during the campaign, so she purchased the new stove in June 1860. Legend has it that she liked the new stove so much, she wanted to take it to Washington, but Mr. Lincoln persuaded her to leave it behind for the renters, suggesting that Mary would not have time to cook as the first First Lady from Illinois.