"I am in need of a mourning bonnet---which must be exceedingly plain and genteel....I want the crape to be the finest jet black English crape----I want it got up with great taste and gentility." May, 1862
After her husband was assassinated in 1865 Mary left the White House for Chicago with about 60 trunks and boxes full of belongings. She found shopping a balm for grief. What was a compulsive shopping problem became a hoarding disorder.
"In the box---by the front door upstairs is a box of woolens 2---elegant sofa cusions (sic)"
"If you have need of any narrow thread lace---which you will certainly require----you will find some among my lace----which has never been washed