A man was arrested late last week after authorities said he attempted to burn down the childhood home of former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, according to Fox 56.
On Thursday, a Lexington, Kentucky, police officer spotted 29-year-old Santosh Sharma pouring gasoline on the back of the Mary Todd Lincoln House in downtown Lexington, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the outlet. Police say he had a lighter in his hand and more gasoline in a backpack he was wearing.
Sharma allegedly waved a hammer at the officer when confronted, but the officer notes that no physical altercation occurred. The citation indicated that the presence of the hammer put fear in the officer of potential serious physical harm, according to Fox 56.
Sharma was able to gain access to the rear of the home by allegedly going through a gated area, according to the New York Post.
The man was arrested and is now being held at the Fayette County Detention Center. Jail records show he is charged with second-degree arson, second-degree criminal trespassing, and menacing.
According to the National Park Service, the Mary Todd Lincoln House was built between 1803 and 1806. The wife of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd lived in the home between 1832 and 1839, when she subsequently moved to Springfield, Illinois, and met her husband three years later.
“In the Todds’ day, the property contained separate outbuildings, including an outdoor kitchen with slave quarters, wash house, smoke house, and stables with a carriage house,” the description of the home of the Mary Todd Lincoln House website says. “Unfortunately, no evidence of the outbuildings remains. The Todds also had a large garden, now partially restored.”
The first lady’s family lived there until 1849, when Robert Todd, Mary Todd’s father, died. The home is the first house museum to honor a first lady and was visited by Abraham Lincoln in 1847.
In the 1950s, the structure of the home began to deteriorate after it had been used as a grocery store, brothel, and boarding house in the time since the Todds moved out.
“Today, the home is used to tell the remarkable story of Mary Todd Lincoln to thousands of visitors from around the world, featuring family portraits and furnishings from the Todd and Lincoln families,” the website description says.