Campus News

Book examines family’s divided loyalties

Prof edits new handbook that surveys national security intelligence literature
Winners Have Yet to Be Announced: A Song for Donny Hathaway By Ed Pavlic´ University of Georgia Press $19.95 paper
House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, a Family Divided by War
Stephen Berry
Houghton Mifflin Company

House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, a Family Divided by War examines the contrasting loyalties that Mary Todd Lincoln’s family had during the Civil War.

The wife of President Abraham Lincoln, she was one of 14 children, all of whom were split between supporting the North or the South.

Three of her brothers fought for the Confederacy, and two died. Her family’s disagreements greatly influenced Lincoln’s views of the Confederacy.

Stephen Berry, assistant professor of history, attests that the Todd family’s divided loyalties helped Lincoln view the Confederates in a more benevolent manner, rather than depicting them as an abhorrent enemy. In House of Abraham, Berry illustrates how the Todd family’s differing allegiances caused Lincoln to avoid measures or discourse that would cast Confederates in an unfavorable light.

Berry, by telling the Todds’ story, reveals the effects that the war had on one family, and how this helped shape the outcome of the entire conflict.