Emilie was the daughter of Elizabeth and Robert Todd of Lexington, Kentucky. Her father had 14 children by two wives. Among Emilie's half sisters was Mary Todd Lincoln who would become First Lady of the United States a few years after this portrait of Emily was taken.
"This dairy is missing. Most historians believe that Emilie burned it just before she died because it contained 'too much bitterness.' "
"Historians should read this text with a critical eye, as it was written and published decades after the war. Emilie...carefully crafted the image of the Todds and Lincolns that she showed the world in the postwar period. Some stories in this book, when compared to other sources and historical fact, ring true; others do not." Angela Esco Elder
Embellished to support the myth of the Lost Cause or not Emilie's loss of a loved husband was a tragedy. The Todds suffered many.
The Kentucky Museum owns an embroidered all-white counterpane attributed to Miriam Elmina Helm (1777-1868), shown in a current exhibit curated by Laurel McKay Horton, Margaret T. Ordoñez & Kate Brown. Whitework: Women Stitching Identity is up until November 20, 2021.
Elizabeth Pendleton Hardin (1839-1895) was first cousin to Emilie's husband Ben Hardin Helm.
"We found Hardin Helm's grave in a private lot, covered with the withered fragments of what had once been fresh flowers, placed there by some unknown hand."