Continuing Legal Education

The Insanity Retrial of Mary Todd Lincoln - Live Video

October 1, 2012
2.00 MCLE hours, including 2.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)
Co-sponsored by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservations Commission

Multi-Purpose Room
212 North Sixth Street
(map and directions)

Masters Series

In 1875, Robert Lincoln, the only living son of martyred President Abraham Lincoln, petitioned to have his mother Mary Lincoln institutionalized for insanity. Robert Lincoln was concerned about her eccentric behavior and excessive spending habits. A jury found her insane, and she was taken to Bellevue Sanatorium in Batavia, Illinois. While there, she argued that she was sane and enlisted the assistance of Myra Bradwell and others to obtain her release. The doctor in charge at Bellevue and Robert Lincoln consented to her early release into the care of Mary Lincoln's sister in Springfield. One year after the trial, another jury found Mary Lincoln sane, restoring her legal control over her assets.

This year, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission partners in a series of events to educate and inform the public about Mary Lincoln's insanity episode and modern-day mental health issues.

This trial will use modern-day lawyers and judges in a courtroom setting to give Mary Lincoln a hearing regarding her alleged insanity using modern-day laws. Actors portraying Robert Lincoln and Mary Lincoln, in period costume, will testify, as well as an expert witness — a mental health professional — for each side. The audience will serve as the jury.

Due to the popularity of this program, the actual live event is sold out. However, join us in the Multi-Purpose Room at 212 N. 6th Street in Springfield, Illinois to watch a simultaneous live video of the program in a group setting.

*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval.


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