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From slavery to the White House Part 2

Keckley joins the

Lincoln family

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

In part one of our story last week, Elizabeth Keckley, a talented seamstress and slave, had been told by her master that she could buy her and her son’s freedom for $1,200. She managed to raise the money, buy their freedom and amazingly work for ladies of the upper class. This included the family of Sen. Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederate States of America.

A daughter of Union Maj. Gen. Edwin Vose Sumner was one of Elizabeth’s patrons. “Bull Head” Sumner inspired a legend that a musket ball once bounced off his head. He also had a great booming voice. His daughter asked Elizabeth to make a dress

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