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

" You have come at -last. Mrs. Keckley, who have you worked for in the city ?"

" Among others, Mrs. Senator Davis has been one of my best patrons," was my reply.

" Mrs. Davis ! So you have worked for her, have you ? Of course you gave satisfaction ; so far, good. Can you do ray work ? "

"Yes, Mrs. Lincoln. Will you have much work for me to do ? "

" That, Mrs. Keckley, will depend altogether upon your prices. I trust that your terms are reasonable. I cannot afford to be extravagant. We are just from the West, and are poor. If you do not charge too much, I shall be able to give you all my work."

"I do not think there will be any difficulty about charges, Mrs. Lincoln ; my terms are reasonable."

" Well, if you will work cheap, you shall have plenty to do. I can t afford to pay big prices, so I frankly tell you so in the beginning."

The terms were satisfactorily arranged, and I measured Mrs. Lincoln, took the dress with me, a bright rose-colored moire-antique, and returned the next day to fit it on her.

I became the regular modiste of Mrs. Lincoln. I made fifteen or sixteen dresses for her during the spring and early part of the summer, when she left Washington ; spending the hot weather at Saratoga, Long Branch, and other places. In the mean time I was employed by Mrs. Senator Douglas, one of the loveliest ladies that I ever met, Mrs. Secretary Wells, Mrs. Secretary Stanton, and others. Mrs. Douglas always dressed in deep mourning, with excellent taste, and several of the leading ladies of Washington society were extremely jealous of her superior attractions.