Plot & Details
This is the final part of a three-video, six-hour program that originally aired February 19-21, 2001, as a presentation of the acclaimed PBS series The American Experience. The program focuses on the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, and is one of the first documentaries to do so. In the third part, a series of tragedies overwhelms Mary. Lincoln's urgent need to manage the war hurts the marriage, leaving Mary feeling isolated, especially in light of the death of their son Willie. Often accused of being a Confederate sympathizer, Mary ultimately loses three brothers in battle against the Union. After the president is assassinated, she's devastated. Six years later, after her son Tad dies young of tuberculosis, she loses her sanity and spends the last 17 years of her life institutionalized. Narrated by David McCullough, the program also features interviews with scholars and readings by actors David Morse and Holly Hunter. Highlights include period photographs.