"Behind the Scenes" (1868) is both a slave narrative and a portrait of the First Family of America, especially of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln. After the assassination of President Lincoln, Elizabeth Keckley the former slave turned confidant and dress maker of Mrs. Lincoln took it upon herself to provide financial support to her by writing this slave narrative. But in spite of Keckley's good intentions the publication of her life story spelled doom for her own career and her friendship with the Lincolns to an extent that all efforts were made to suppress and falsify it. Yet this book has survived all odds and has now become an important document on Anti-Slavery and the Lincolns. A must read for anyone who is interested in American History!
Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907) was a former slave who became a successful dressmaker, civil rights activist, and author in Washington, DC. Her relationship with Mary T. Lincoln was notable for its personal quality and intimacy. Besides, Keckley was also deeply committed to programs of racial improvement and protection. She helped in founding the Home for Destitute Women and Children and taught at Wilberforce University in Ohio.