“Friends are a recompense for all the woes of the darkest pages in life.”
Elizabeth was born into slavery in early 1800s Virginia. Despite encountering significant obstacles, she managed to buy her own freedom from her owners for $1,200. She then went to DC to launch her own dressmaking business. There, she met first lady Mary Todd Lincoln. #FLOTUS Mary Todd hired Elizabeth as her personal fashion advisor. They became life-long friends. Elizabeth’s clientele boasted the likes of Varina Davis (Jefferson Davis’ wife) and Mary Anna Custis Lee (Robert E. Lee’s wife), among other government elite figures. 👗💵
Following the American Civil War, Elizabeth wrote an autobiography titled “Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House” (1868). Both a slave story and a narrative about the first family, it became the subject of controversy for its inclusion of private White House matters.