Mrs. Lincoln's Confidante

Original Screenplay
Diana J. Dell & Carol A. Dingle

WGA Registration Number: 1348346

Log Line: This is the inspiring true story of the remarkable friendship between Elizabeth Keckley, former slave and renowned fashion designer, and the volatile First Lady during the tumultuous Civil War years that Abraham Lincoln occupies the White House.

Synopsis: Synopsis: A former slave who bought her freedom, Elizabeth Keckley is independent and well-established as the fashion designer for Washington's elite when Mrs. Lincoln, known for being rather difficult to deal with, arrives in the nation's capital in 1861.

Through astute networking and hard work, Elizabeth creates gowns and dresses for notable government officials' wives and daughters, such as Mrs. Jefferson Davis, Mrs. Stephen Douglas, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, Miss Kate Chase, and Miss Fanny Seward. The country's most privileged women of the time humbly request her services and newspapers report, "Stately carriages stand before her door, whose haughty owners sit before Elizabeth docile as lambs while she tells them what to wear. Elizabeth Keckley is an artist and such a genius for making women look pretty that not one of them considers disputing her decrees."

The First Lady hires the celebrated seamstress because she is considered the crème de la crème by high society, and the wife of the President, an outsider in Washington's inner circles, is desperate for social cachet. As Abraham Lincoln struggles to keep the nation together, Mrs. Lincoln turns to this remarkable woman for companionship, support, and advice.

Elizabeth also enjoys leadership and celebrity status within the close-knit, prosperous African-American community, using influential connections to establish and become president of the Contraband Relief Association, a group designed to help suffering and disadvantaged black people. She solicits donations and support, receiving contributions from the President, First Lady, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, plus prominent Abolitionists around the country.

The illustrious fashion designer interacts with the White House family on a very personal level, travels with the First Lady, and is a witness to many of the extraordinary events of the Lincoln Presidency, from the start of the Civil War to the assassination. Over the course of these incredible times, Elizabeth Keckley becomes Mrs. Lincoln's closest friend and confidante, serving as a steady and reliable source of strength and comfort to the troubled First Lady.

"Mrs. Lincoln's Confidante" was a Quarter Finalist in FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards Contest.

Another script, "My Name is Anna Busch," a World War II drama, has been optioned by producer LaMont T. Cain and is in development.

Published writer Carol Dingle is the owner of the web sites, and

Diana J. Dell is the author of “Memories Are Like Clouds” and “A Saigon Party: And Other Vietnam War Short Stories.” She also owns the web site,

Original Screenplays by Carol Dingle & Diana Dell

Books by Carol Dingle

Books by Diana Dell (Home)