Authors & Events
Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823-1886) was born into a wealthy South Carolina family. Her father, Stephen Decatur Miller, was a senator who supported states’ rights and the legalization of slavery. She married James Chestnut in 1840 and they moved to Camden, New Jersey. Her husband later became a US senator but in 1860, after Abraham Lincoln was elected, he resigned his position. The couple relocated to North Carolina during the Civil War, and Mary recorded her thoughts in a diary that would be published in full after her death.
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