" 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
" 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.