National Affairs: Unpleasant Duty

In 1870 Congress was beginning to hand out Civil War pensions. It gave one to the widow of the Civil War President. Mary Todd Lincoln's $3,000* a year was the first pension for a Presidential widow. Since then pensions have been granted to nine other Presidential widows—Julia Gardiner Tyler, Sarah Childress Polk, Julia Dent Grant, Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, Ida Saxton McKinley, Edith Carow Roosevelt, Helen Herron Taft, Edith Boiling, Galt Wilson, Grace Goodhue Coolidge. Last week this polite beneficence was impolitely questioned for the first time.

Ohio-born Mary Scott Lord Dimmick had been widowed by...

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