Behind the Scenes


Elizabeth Keckley recounted some of her experiences working for the Lincoln White House in a book, entitled Behind the Scenes, published in 1868. The book resembled other slave narratives, such as those by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, in recounting her struggles to rise from slavery to freedom. Yet Keckley's book was also a memoir about life in the Lincoln White House. She recounted her conversations and interactions with the President and emphasized the concerns and outlook of Mary Lincoln. Sadly, the book created an estrangement between the two women. They did not speak to one another again after it appeared in print.


Elizabeth Keckley, Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House. (New York: G.W. Carelton & Co., Publishers, 1868.)