Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mary Lincoln Beckwith

Mary Lincoln "Peggy" Beckwith (August 22, 1898 – July 10, 1975) was a prominent descendant of Abraham Lincoln. She was one of the last two descendants (great-grandchildren) of Abraham Lincoln, along with her brother Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith.

Beckwith was born to Jessie Harlan Lincoln and Warren Beckwith on August 22, 1898, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. She got the nickname “Peggy” from her grandfather Robert Todd Lincoln, who described her hair as "flying in the sun" when he wrote to his Aunt Emile Todd Helm.

Raised with her brother at Hildene, the family estate in Vermont, she later grew up in Washington, D.C., and was said to have become "a squat, fair-haired, blue-eyed, chain smoker who golfed and dabbled in oil painting and sculpture."

She once saw her grandfather throw some of the Lincoln Papers into a fire grate.

Peggy was apparently a lesbian, and later in life became an eccentric recluse at Hildene, which she inherited following the death of her grandmother, Mary Harlan Lincoln. Never married, she died on July 10, 1975 at around 2:15 a.m. at Rutland Hospital in Rutland, Vermont. She had requested that her ashes be spread over her estate; this request was granted and there was no funeral or memorial service held. Upon her death, her brother Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith became the last living descendant of Abraham Lincoln.

No comments: