"Behind the Scenes" is both a slave narrative and a portrait of the First Family, especially Mary Todd Lincoln, and is considered controversial for breaking privacy about them. It was also her claim as a businesswoman to be part of the new mixed-race, middle-class that was visible among the leadership of the black community.
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818 – 1907) was a former slave who became a successful seamstress, civil activist, and author in Washington, DC. She was best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady. She created an independent business in the capital based on clients who were the wives of the government elite. Among them were Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis; and Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee.
Where I Was Born
Girlhood and Its Sorrows
How I Gained My Freedom
In the Family of Senator Jefferson Davis
My Introduction to Mrs. Lincoln
Willie Lincoln's Death-bed
Washington in 1862-3
Behind the Scenes
The Second Inauguration
The Assassination of President Lincoln
Mrs. Lincoln Leaves the White House
The Origin of the Rivalry Between Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln
The Secret History of Mrs. Lincoln's Wardrobe in New York