Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House) by Elizabeth Keckley

It had been arranged that I should go to Chicago. When Mrs. Lincoln first suggested her plan, I strongly objected ; but I had been with her so long, that she had acquired great power over me.

" I cannot go West with you, Mrs. Lincoln," I said, when the idea was first advanced.

" But you must go to Chicago with me, Eliza beth ; I cannot do without you."

"You forget my business, Mrs. Lincoln. I cannot leave it. Just now I have the spring trousseau to make for Mrs. Douglas, and I have promised to have it done in less than a week."

"Never mind. Mrs. Douglas can get some one else to make her trousseau. You may find it to your interest to go. I am very poor now, but if Congress makes an appropriation for my benefit, you shall be well rewarded."

" It is not the reward, but " I commenced, by way of reply, but she stopped me :

" Now don t say another word about it, if you do not wish to distress me. I have determined that you shall go to Chicago with me, and you must go."

When Mrs. Douglas learned that Mrs. Lincoln wished me to accompany her West, she sent me word :

" Never mind me. Do all you can for Mrs. Lincoln. My heart's sympathy is with her."

Finding that no excuse would be accepted, I made preparations to go to Chicago with Mrs. L.

The green car had specially been chartered for us, and in this we were conveyed to the West. Dr. Henry accompanied us, and he was remarkably attentive and kind. The first night out, Mrs. Lincoln had a severe headache ; and while I was bathing her temples, she said to me :

" Lizabeth, you are my best and kindest friend, and I love you as my best friend. I wish it were in my powder to make you comfortable for the balance of your days. If Congress provides for me, depend upon it, I will provide for you."