Elizabeth Keckley, Behind the Scenes

    Over 150 years have passed since the publication of Elizabeth Keckley’s memoir “Behind the Scenes: or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in The White House,” which details the nature of her experiences enduring slavery, buying her freedom, and becoming a highly regarded seamstress. While controversial at the time, Keckley’s book has since aided in the collective understanding of the Lincoln administration and its First Lady, and, importantly, has provided a significant glimpse into the life and trajectory of a Black woman during the mid to late 1800s. Within Keckley’s resilient journey lies her notable time spent in St. Louis. Through and beyond her years in the midwest, she has left an extraordinary mark on US history.