Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

By William H. Townsend | Go to book overview

FIVE
Mary Ann Todd

ON DECEMBER 6, 1817, two popular veterans of the War of 1812, Robert S. Todd of Captain Hart's infantry and Sergeant Bird Smith of Captain Trotter's cavalry, announced their partnership in an "Extensive Grocery Establishment" advantageous. ly located on Cheapside. One of the firm, according to the Gazette, would attend "Foreign markets by which they will be enabled to supply their customers with every article in their line, on better terms and of better quality--indeed with any articles, such as fruits, et cetera that heretofore could not be procured.1 For the next several years the advertisements of Smith & Todd regularly appeared in the public prints, always listing a full line of high-grade groceries and the choicest, rarest wines, spirits, brandy, gin, and whisky.

Robert S. Todd was now one of the most enterprising and promising young businessmen of Lexington, deeply interested, as were his forebears, in political and civic affairs. He had been chosen clerk of the Kentucky House of Representatives with little or no opposition for two sessions,2 and was shortly to take his seat as a member of the Fayette County Court, a

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