Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker

Actress Kathryn Harris is pictured portraying Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and confidante Elizabeth Keckley.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

MATTOON (JG-TC) -- Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, will be portrayed during a presentation Friday afternoon at the Mattoon train depot.

Keckley, who will be portrayed by actress Kathryn Harris of Springfield, was born into slavery in 1818. She became a renowned seamstress, a civil rights activist and an author. Harris shares stories from Keckley's life through first-person impersonation.

Eastern Illinois University's Academy of Lifelong Learning has planned Friday's presentation, which is made possible by a grant from the Coles County Arts Council. The Mattoon Arts Council will host this presentation at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Lone Elm Room at the Mattoon depot, 1718 Broadway Ave.

Admittance to the presentation is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to reserve seats by calling the Academy of Lifelong Learning at 217-581-5114. The academy provides area community members with opportunities for non-college credit learning. The academy offers volunteer opportunities and on-campus audit class options to members.

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