Born here in Dinwiddie County in 1818, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, or Keckly, was a dressmaker and abolitionist. She lived as a slave in Virginia and North Carolina but eventually bought her freedom in 1855. By 1860 she had relocated to Baltimore and then to Washington, D.C. Because of her dressmaking skills she became a seamstress, personal maid, and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln, Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s wife. In 1868, Keckley’s account, Behind the Scenes; or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the House, appeared and met with criticism from Mrs. Lincoln for its candor. Keckley died in 1907.
Original Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Dinwiddie County
Physical Description of Location: Marker location is an estimate at the time marker was approved by DHR. Actual location will be updated when marker is cast and erected.
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