Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly (1818-1907) was a former slave turned successful seamstress who is most notably known as being Mary Todd Lincolnâ¿¿s personal modiste and confidante, and the author of her autobiography, Behind the Scenes; or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868). Mrs. Keckly utilized her intelligence, keen business savvy, and sewing and design skills to arrange and ultimately buy her freedom (and that of her son George as well), and later enjoyed regular business with the wives of the government elite as her base clientele. After years of establishment in St. Louis she moved to Washington, DC in the Spring of 1860, where she had the countryâ¿¿s most elite women of the time requesting her services. Of all her clients, she had the closest and most long-standing relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln, devoting many of her days during Abraham Lincolnâ¿¿s administration to being available to her and the First Family in a myriad of ways. In 1892 she was offered a faculty position at Wilberforce University as head of the Department of Sewing and Domestic Science Arts and moved to Ohio.