The Life of Elizabeth Keckley–African American Dress Designer for Mary Todd Lincoln
Grades: 3 - 8

Video Description: New August 2022! This insightful look at Elizabeth Keckley, slave, freed woman, dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln, brings to light a little known part of the Lincoln story and American history.

Type of Video: Profile*
Unique Video ID: US History-177**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • After viewing this video, lead a classroom discussion about Keckley’s life as an enslaved person and the characteristics she possessed to survive enslavement, purchase her freedom and become a successful dressmaker and businesswoman.
  • For more information about Elizabeth Keckley, check out the Missouri History Museum website.


*Profile videos use a first-person/first-hand approach to highlight interesting people doing interesting things in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.