Mourning Keepsakes

Mourning Keepsakes were a popular item during Victorian England and Civil War America. Check out how they became even more popular in the United States after Licoln’s death- over at the Emerging Civil War blog.

Emerging Civil War

A large mourning badge worn after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln A large mourning badge worn after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Mourning jewelry and other similar keepsakes became popular objects created and worn to honor a loved one or a person of importance. Queen Victoria unknowingly propagated the trend upon the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861. In the United States, the Civil War took this trend to new heights, as the death toll rose upwards of 620,000. Oftentimes, a family’s only keepsake of a loved one was a lock of hair, sent either as a token of love or deep appreciation, or clipped after death. These keepsakes were woven into jewelry or framed serving to honor or remember the deceased. Abraham Lincoln’s assassination caused an entire nation to openly grieve (or in some cases pretend to grieve), and a variety of mourning keepsakes  remembering the president still survive.

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