Elizabeth Keckly

Elizabeth Keckly, a former enslaved woman, purchased her and her son George’s freedom for $1,200.00. After receiving her freedom she would become known as the couturier of her time. As a mantua maker, Lizzy would dress the elite in the finest of fashion.

Lizzy would also be instrumental in helping to get the Contraband Relief Association established in this nation’s capitol. This organization provided proper housing, clothes and food to help newly freed, wandering, ex-slaves who had nowhere else to go. At the end of the Civil War the name was changed to The Freedmen and Soldiers Relief Association. Lizzy also helped to establish The Home for Destitute Colored Women and Girls.

Let Tammy introduce you to the world of a former enslaved woman who would be a confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln and an informal advisor to the sixteenth president.