In 1875, ten years after she left the White House following President Lincoln’s assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln was found to be insane by a jury in Chicago. Her son, Robert Todd Lincoln, had signed a petition to have her involuntarily committed to an insane asylum. She was taken to Bellevue Sanitarium in Illinois where she stayed for several months before her release to live with her sister.
A group of real-life judges retries Mary Todd Lincoln under current Illinois law and leaves it up to the audience to decide if she should be involuntarily committed to an asylum. The Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission and the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum hosted this event.