Elizabeth Keckley (Hobbs)
This former slave was best friend and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln and wrote Behind the Scenes, a book about the life of Mary Tood Lincoln and the happenings in the White House during the Lincoln years. Born a slave circa 1819 in Hillsborough, North Carolina, Lizzie received no formal education, but was trained as a seamstress by her mother. After buying her freedom, she started a school in Baltimore for Black girls to teach them sewing and etiquette. Lizzie was president and founder of the First Black Contraband Relief Association. She retired to the Home of Destitute Women and Children in Washington, D.C., where she died in 1907.