Frazier Museum Purchases Mary Todd Lincoln Insanity Papers

by Gabe Bullard

The Frazier International History Museum in Louisville has purchased historic papers documenting Mary Todd Lincoln’s commitment to an Illinois insane asylum.

The papers were first found in 1933, and were put up for auction when the finder passed away. The Frazier paid $32 thousand for the documents at a Cincinnati auction Friday. Spokesperson Krista McHone says the papers will be part of a Civil War exhibition next year, and eventually added to the permanent collection.

“As many people have heard, we’re really trying to step away from being known as the gun museum and really become the region’s history museum,” she says.

The funds to purchase the papers came from the museum’s founder, Owsley Brown Frazier. McHone says the museum had hoped to spend only $25 thousand on the documents.