It’s a sure bet President Lincoln’s two secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay weren’t sending any Valentines to the first lady 149 years ago today.
Mary Lincoln always considered the two secretaries snobbish, and she was at least partly correct. They did look down on her.
The rift between the president’s wife and his secretaries flared after Mary Lincoln convinced her husband to replace the White House formal dinners the secretaries favored with less expensive and more inclusive public receptions.
The secretaries privately referred to the boss’ wife as “the hellcat” and “her satanical majesty.”