Jason Emerson, an independent historian writing from Cazenovia, New York, is the author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007), Lincoln the Inventor (SIUP, January 2009), and the recently released The Dark Days of Abraham Lincoln's Widow, As Revealed by Her Own Letters (SIUP, February 2011). He frequently contributes to American Heritage Magazine.
Without the material support of a half-dozen prominent northerners known as the Secret Six, John Brown’s attack on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry 150 years ago may well never have occurred
Her son had her committed. She said it was so he could get his hands on her money. Now, 130 years after this bitter and controversial drama, a trove of letters—long believed destroyed—sheds new light on it.