Robert Todd Lincoln

Robert Todd Lincoln

Overview
Robert Todd Lincoln was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 lawyer and Secretary of War, and the first son of President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Ann Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.-Life before the White House:...

. Born in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he was the only one of Lincoln's four sons to live past his teenage years.

Lincoln graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

 in 1860, then studied at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 from 1861 to 1864, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

 (Alpha chapter). (Later in life, Lincoln also joined the Delta Chi
Delta Chi
Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...

 fraternity.) He then enrolled in Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

 but did not graduate.
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Encyclopedia
Robert Todd Lincoln was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 lawyer and Secretary of War, and the first son of President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Ann Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.-Life before the White House:...

. Born in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he was the only one of Lincoln's four sons to live past his teenage years.

Family and early life


Lincoln graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

 in 1860, then studied at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 from 1861 to 1864, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

 (Alpha chapter). (Later in life, Lincoln also joined the Delta Chi
Delta Chi
Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...

 fraternity.) He then enrolled in Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

 but did not graduate. Much to the embarrassment of the President, Mary Todd Lincoln prevented Robert Lincoln from joining the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 until shortly before the war's conclusion in 1865. He held the rank of captain, serving in the last weeks of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 as part of General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

's immediate staff, a position which sharply minimized the likelihood that he would be involved in actual combat. He was present at Appomattox
Battle of Appomattox Courthouse
The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate States Army General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of the last battles of the American...

 when Lee surrendered.


Lincoln had a distant relationship with his father, in part because Abraham Lincoln spent months on the judicial circuit during his formative years. Robert would later say his most vivid image of his father was of his packing his saddlebags to prepare for his travels through Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. Abraham Lincoln was proud of Robert and thought him bright, but also saw him as something of a competitor, and once said, "he guessed Bob would not do better than he had." The two lacked the strong bond Lincoln had with his sons Willie
William Wallace Lincoln
William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln was the third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He died at the age of 11. He was named after Mary's brother-in-law Dr. William Wallace.- Final illness and death :...

 and Tad
Tad Lincoln
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was the fourth and youngest son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. The nickname "Tad" was given to him by his father who found Thomas "as wriggly as a tadpole" when he was a baby. Tad was known to be impulsive, unrestrained, and did not attend school...

, but Robert deeply admired his father and wept openly at his deathbed.

Following his father's assassination, in April 1865, Robert Lincoln moved with his mother and his brother Tad to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, where Robert completed his law studies at the University of Chicago
Old University of Chicago
The University of Chicago, now known as the Old University of Chicago , was a school founded by Baptists in Chicago in 1857...

 (a school different from but whose name was later assumed by the university currently known by that name
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

). He was admitted to the bar on February 25, 1867.

On September 24, 1868, Robert Lincoln married the former Mary Eunice Harlan (September 25, 1846 – March 31, 1937), the daughter of Senator James Harlan
James Harlan (senator)
James Harlan was a member of the United States Senate and a U.S. Cabinet Secretary.-Biography:Harlan represented the state of Iowa in the United States Senate as a member of the Free Soil Party in 1855. In 1857 the Senate declared the seat vacant because of irregularities in the legislative...

 and Ann Eliza Peck of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Henry County, Iowa, in the United States. The population was 8,668 in the 2010 census, a decline from 8,751 in the 2000 census. It was founded in 1835 by pioneer Presley Saunders.- History :...

. They had two daughters and one son:
  • Mary "Mamie" Lincoln (October 15, 1869 – November 21, 1938)
  • Abraham Lincoln II
    Abraham Lincoln II
    Abraham "Jack" Lincoln II , was the middle of three children of Robert Todd Lincoln and Mary Eunice Harlan, and the only grandson of Abraham Lincoln...

     (nicknamed "Jack") (August 14, 1873 – March 5, 1890)
  • Jessie Harlan Lincoln
    Jessie Harlan Lincoln
    Jessie Harlan Lincoln was the second daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln, the granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln, and the mother of Mary Lincoln Beckwith and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last Lincoln descendant.-Early life:...

     (November 6, 1875 – January 4, 1948)

His mother's "spend-thrift" ways and eccentric behavior concerned Robert Lincoln. Fearing that his mother was a danger to herself, he was left with no choice but to have her committed to a psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 in Batavia, Illinois
Batavia, Illinois
Batavia was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois, with a small portion in DuPage County. During the Industrial Revolution, Batavia became known as ‘The Windmill City’ for being the largest windmill producer of the time...

 in 1875. With his mother in the hospital, he was left with control of her finances. On May 20, 1875, she arrived at Bellevue Place, a private, upscale sanitarium in the Fox River Valley. Three months after being installed in Bellevue Place, Mary Lincoln engineered her escape. She smuggled letters to her lawyer, James B. Bradwell
James B. Bradwell
James Bolesworth Bradwell was a prominent Illinois lawyer, judge, and politician.-Biography:James B. Bradwell was born April 16, 1828, at Loughborough, England, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bradwell. Sixteen months after his birth, Bradwell's family moved to Utica, New York...

, and his wife, Myra Bradwell
Myra Bradwell
Myra Colby Bradwell was a publisher and political activist. She was the first woman to be admitted to the Illinois bar to become the first female lawyer in Illinois in 1892.-Life:...

, who was not only her friend but also a feminist lawyer and fellow spiritualist. She also wrote to the editor of the Chicago Times, known for its sensational journalism. Soon, the public embarrassments Robert had hoped to avoid were looming, and his character and motives were in question. The director of Bellevue, who at Mary’s trial had assured the jury she would benefit from treatment at his facility, now in the face of potentially damaging publicity declared her well enough to go to Springfield to live with her sister as she desired. The committal proceedings led to a profound estrangement between Lincoln and his mother, and they never fully reconciled.

Secretary of War (1881–1885)


In 1877 he turned down President Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

' offer to appoint him Assistant Secretary of State
United States Assistant Secretary of State
In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one...

, but later accepted an appointment as President James Garfield
James Garfield
James Abram Garfield served as the 20th President of the United States, after completing nine consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Garfield's accomplishments as President included a controversial resurgence of Presidential authority above Senatorial courtesy in executive...

's Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, serving from 1881 to 1885 under Presidents Garfield and Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur
Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States . Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, Arthur struggled to overcome suspicions of his beginnings as a politician from the New York City Republican machine, succeeding at that task by embracing...

.
During his term in office, the Cincinnati Riots of 1884
Cincinnati Riots of 1884
The Cincinnati Riots of 1884, also known as the Cincinnati Courthouse Riots, were caused by public outrage over the decision of a jury to return a verdict of manslaughter in a clear case of murder....

 broke out over a case in which a jury gave a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder in a case that many suspected was rigged. 45 people died during three days of rioting before U.S. troops dispatched by Lincoln reestablished calm.

Following his service as Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, Lincoln helped Oscar Dudley in establishing the Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys in Norwood Park in 1887, after Dudley discovered "more neglected and abandoned children on the streets than stray animals." The school relocated to Glenwood
Glenwood, Illinois
Glenwood is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,000 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Glenwood is located at ....

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in 1899. It first enrolled girls in 1998. Under the name Glenwood School for Boys & Girls, the school continues to operate as a haven for boys and girls whose parents are unable to care for them.

Minister to the Court of St. James's


Lincoln served as the U.S. minister to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 from 1889 to 1893 under President Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States . Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there...

. Afterwards, he returned to private business as a lawyer.

Later life


Lincoln was general counsel of the Pullman Palace Car Company under George Pullman
George Pullman
George Mortimer Pullman was an American inventor and industrialist. He is known as the inventor of the Pullman sleeping car, and for violently suppressing striking workers in the company town he created, Pullman .-Background:Born in Brocton, New York, his family moved to Albion,...

, and was named president after Pullman's death in 1897. In 1911, Lincoln became chairman of the board, a position he held until his death in 1926.

A serious amateur astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

, Lincoln constructed an observatory at his home
Hildene
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home located in Manchester in the U.S. state of Vermont, was the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln...

 in Manchester, Vermont, and equipped it with a refracting telescope
Refracting telescope
A refracting or refractor telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image . The refracting telescope design was originally used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long focus camera lenses...

 that had a six-inch objective lens. Lincoln's telescope still exists; it has been restored and is used by a local astronomy club.

Robert Lincoln made his last public appearance at the dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 for his father's memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

 on May 30, 1922.

Presence at assassinations


Robert Lincoln was coincidentally either present or nearby when two presidential assassinations occurred.
  • At President James A. Garfield's invitation, Lincoln was at the Sixth Street Train Station in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    , where the President was shot by Charles J. Guiteau
    Charles J. Guiteau
    Charles Julius Guiteau was an American lawyer who assassinated U.S. President James A. Garfield. He was executed by hanging.- Background :...

     on July 2, 1881, and was an eyewitness to the event. Lincoln was serving as Garfield's Secretary of War
    United States Secretary of War
    The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

     at the time.
  • At President William McKinley
    William McKinley
    William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

    's invitation, Lincoln was at the Pan-American Exposition
    Pan-American Exposition
    The Pan-American Exposition was a World's Fair held in Buffalo, New York, United States, from May 1 through November 2, 1901. The fair occupied of land on the western edge of what is present day Delaware Park, extending from Delaware Ave. to Elmwood Ave and northward to Great Arrow...

     in Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

    , where the President was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz on September 6, 1901, though he was not an eyewitness to the event.


Lincoln was not present at his father's assassination.He arrived at Ford's Theater shortly after his father was shot.

Lincoln himself recognized the frequency of these coincidences. He is said to have refused a later presidential invitation with the comment "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." He did attend the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, in 1922, in the presence of both President Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 and former President William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, however. President Harding proceeded to die in office, barely half-way through his only term, fifteen months and one day later; former president (and then-Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

) Taft survived another eight years.

Robert Lincoln and Edwin Booth


In an odd coincidence, Robert Lincoln was once saved from possible serious injury or death by Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

, brother of John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor...

. The incident took place on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1864 or early 1865, shortly before John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln.

Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine:
Months later, while serving as an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, Robert Lincoln recalled the incident to his fellow officer, Colonel Adam Badeau, who happened to be a friend of Edwin Booth. Badeau sent a letter to Booth, complimenting the actor for his heroism. Before receiving the letter, Booth had been unaware that the boy whose life he had saved on the train platform had been the President's son. The incident was said to have been of some comfort to Edwin Booth following his brother's assassination of the President.

Republican politics


From 1884 to 1912, Lincoln's name was mentioned in varying degrees of seriousness as a candidate for the Republican presidential or vice-presidential nomination. At every turn, he adamantly disavowed any interest in running and stated he would not accept either position if nominated.

Death



Robert Todd Lincoln died in his sleep at Hildene
Hildene
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home located in Manchester in the U.S. state of Vermont, was the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln...

, his Vermont home, on July 26, 1926. He was 82. The cause of death was given by his physician as a "cerebral hemorrhage induced by arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis refers to a stiffening of arteries.Arteriosclerosis is a general term describing any hardening of medium or large arteries It should not be confused with "arteriolosclerosis" or "atherosclerosis".Also known by the name "myoconditis" which is...

".

He was later interred in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 in a sarcophagus designed by the sculptor James Earle Fraser. He is buried with his wife Mary and their son Jack, who died of blood poisoning at the age of 16 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

Lincoln was the last surviving member of both the Garfield and Arthur Cabinets.

Of Robert's children, Jessie Harlan Lincoln Beckwith (1875–1948) had two children, Mary Lincoln Beckwith ["Peggy" 1898 – 1975] and Robert ("Bud") Todd Lincoln Beckwith (1904–1985), neither of whom had children of their own. Robert's other daughter, Mary Todd Lincoln ("Mamie") (1869–1938) married Charles Bradley Isham in 1891. They had one son, Lincoln Isham (1892–1971). Lincoln Isham married Leahalma Correa in 1919, but died without children.

The last person known to be of direct Lincoln lineage, Robert's grandson "Bud" Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln. In 1975, he became the last undisputed descendant of Lincoln when his sister, "Peggy" Beckwith, died without children.-Biography:...

, died in 1985.

See also


  • List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s – 8 Mar. 1926


External links


Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 lawyer and Secretary of War, and the first son of President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Ann Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.-Life before the White House:...

. Born in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he was the only one of Lincoln's four sons to live past his teenage years.

Family and early life


Lincoln graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

 in 1860, then studied at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 from 1861 to 1864, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

 (Alpha chapter). (Later in life, Lincoln also joined the Delta Chi
Delta Chi
Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...

 fraternity.) He then enrolled in Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

 but did not graduate. Much to the embarrassment of the President, Mary Todd Lincoln prevented Robert Lincoln from joining the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 until shortly before the war's conclusion in 1865. He held the rank of captain, serving in the last weeks of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 as part of General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

's immediate staff, a position which sharply minimized the likelihood that he would be involved in actual combat. He was present at Appomattox
Battle of Appomattox Courthouse
The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate States Army General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of the last battles of the American...

 when Lee surrendered.


Lincoln had a distant relationship with his father, in part because Abraham Lincoln spent months on the judicial circuit during his formative years. Robert would later say his most vivid image of his father was of his packing his saddlebags to prepare for his travels through Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. Abraham Lincoln was proud of Robert and thought him bright, but also saw him as something of a competitor, and once said, "he guessed Bob would not do better than he had." The two lacked the strong bond Lincoln had with his sons Willie
William Wallace Lincoln
William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln was the third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He died at the age of 11. He was named after Mary's brother-in-law Dr. William Wallace.- Final illness and death :...

 and Tad
Tad Lincoln
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was the fourth and youngest son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. The nickname "Tad" was given to him by his father who found Thomas "as wriggly as a tadpole" when he was a baby. Tad was known to be impulsive, unrestrained, and did not attend school...

, but Robert deeply admired his father and wept openly at his deathbed.

Following his father's assassination, in April 1865, Robert Lincoln moved with his mother and his brother Tad to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, where Robert completed his law studies at the University of Chicago
Old University of Chicago
The University of Chicago, now known as the Old University of Chicago , was a school founded by Baptists in Chicago in 1857...

 (a school different from but whose name was later assumed by the university currently known by that name
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

). He was admitted to the bar on February 25, 1867.

On September 24, 1868, Robert Lincoln married the former Mary Eunice Harlan (September 25, 1846 – March 31, 1937), the daughter of Senator James Harlan
James Harlan (senator)
James Harlan was a member of the United States Senate and a U.S. Cabinet Secretary.-Biography:Harlan represented the state of Iowa in the United States Senate as a member of the Free Soil Party in 1855. In 1857 the Senate declared the seat vacant because of irregularities in the legislative...

 and Ann Eliza Peck of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Henry County, Iowa, in the United States. The population was 8,668 in the 2010 census, a decline from 8,751 in the 2000 census. It was founded in 1835 by pioneer Presley Saunders.- History :...

. They had two daughters and one son:
  • Mary "Mamie" Lincoln (October 15, 1869 – November 21, 1938)
  • Abraham Lincoln II
    Abraham Lincoln II
    Abraham "Jack" Lincoln II , was the middle of three children of Robert Todd Lincoln and Mary Eunice Harlan, and the only grandson of Abraham Lincoln...

     (nicknamed "Jack") (August 14, 1873 – March 5, 1890)
  • Jessie Harlan Lincoln
    Jessie Harlan Lincoln
    Jessie Harlan Lincoln was the second daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln, the granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln, and the mother of Mary Lincoln Beckwith and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last Lincoln descendant.-Early life:...

     (November 6, 1875 – January 4, 1948)

His mother's "spend-thrift" ways and eccentric behavior concerned Robert Lincoln. Fearing that his mother was a danger to herself, he was left with no choice but to have her committed to a psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 in Batavia, Illinois
Batavia, Illinois
Batavia was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois, with a small portion in DuPage County. During the Industrial Revolution, Batavia became known as ‘The Windmill City’ for being the largest windmill producer of the time...

 in 1875. With his mother in the hospital, he was left with control of her finances. On May 20, 1875, she arrived at Bellevue Place, a private, upscale sanitarium in the Fox River Valley. Three months after being installed in Bellevue Place, Mary Lincoln engineered her escape. She smuggled letters to her lawyer, James B. Bradwell
James B. Bradwell
James Bolesworth Bradwell was a prominent Illinois lawyer, judge, and politician.-Biography:James B. Bradwell was born April 16, 1828, at Loughborough, England, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bradwell. Sixteen months after his birth, Bradwell's family moved to Utica, New York...

, and his wife, Myra Bradwell
Myra Bradwell
Myra Colby Bradwell was a publisher and political activist. She was the first woman to be admitted to the Illinois bar to become the first female lawyer in Illinois in 1892.-Life:...

, who was not only her friend but also a feminist lawyer and fellow spiritualist. She also wrote to the editor of the Chicago Times, known for its sensational journalism. Soon, the public embarrassments Robert had hoped to avoid were looming, and his character and motives were in question. The director of Bellevue, who at Mary’s trial had assured the jury she would benefit from treatment at his facility, now in the face of potentially damaging publicity declared her well enough to go to Springfield to live with her sister as she desired. The committal proceedings led to a profound estrangement between Lincoln and his mother, and they never fully reconciled.

Secretary of War (1881–1885)


In 1877 he turned down President Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

' offer to appoint him Assistant Secretary of State
United States Assistant Secretary of State
In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one...

, but later accepted an appointment as President James Garfield
James Garfield
James Abram Garfield served as the 20th President of the United States, after completing nine consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Garfield's accomplishments as President included a controversial resurgence of Presidential authority above Senatorial courtesy in executive...

's Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, serving from 1881 to 1885 under Presidents Garfield and Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur
Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States . Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, Arthur struggled to overcome suspicions of his beginnings as a politician from the New York City Republican machine, succeeding at that task by embracing...

.
During his term in office, the Cincinnati Riots of 1884
Cincinnati Riots of 1884
The Cincinnati Riots of 1884, also known as the Cincinnati Courthouse Riots, were caused by public outrage over the decision of a jury to return a verdict of manslaughter in a clear case of murder....

 broke out over a case in which a jury gave a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder in a case that many suspected was rigged. 45 people died during three days of rioting before U.S. troops dispatched by Lincoln reestablished calm.

Following his service as Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, Lincoln helped Oscar Dudley in establishing the Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys in Norwood Park in 1887, after Dudley discovered "more neglected and abandoned children on the streets than stray animals." The school relocated to Glenwood
Glenwood, Illinois
Glenwood is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,000 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Glenwood is located at ....

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in 1899. It first enrolled girls in 1998. Under the name Glenwood School for Boys & Girls, the school continues to operate as a haven for boys and girls whose parents are unable to care for them.

Minister to the Court of St. James's


Lincoln served as the U.S. minister to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 from 1889 to 1893 under President Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States . Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there...

. Afterwards, he returned to private business as a lawyer.

Later life


Lincoln was general counsel of the Pullman Palace Car Company under George Pullman
George Pullman
George Mortimer Pullman was an American inventor and industrialist. He is known as the inventor of the Pullman sleeping car, and for violently suppressing striking workers in the company town he created, Pullman .-Background:Born in Brocton, New York, his family moved to Albion,...

, and was named president after Pullman's death in 1897. In 1911, Lincoln became chairman of the board, a position he held until his death in 1926.

A serious amateur astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

, Lincoln constructed an observatory at his home
Hildene
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home located in Manchester in the U.S. state of Vermont, was the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln...

 in Manchester, Vermont, and equipped it with a refracting telescope
Refracting telescope
A refracting or refractor telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image . The refracting telescope design was originally used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long focus camera lenses...

 that had a six-inch objective lens. Lincoln's telescope still exists; it has been restored and is used by a local astronomy club.

Robert Lincoln made his last public appearance at the dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 for his father's memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

 on May 30, 1922.

Presence at assassinations


Robert Lincoln was coincidentally either present or nearby when two presidential assassinations occurred.
  • At President James A. Garfield's invitation, Lincoln was at the Sixth Street Train Station in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    , where the President was shot by Charles J. Guiteau
    Charles J. Guiteau
    Charles Julius Guiteau was an American lawyer who assassinated U.S. President James A. Garfield. He was executed by hanging.- Background :...

     on July 2, 1881, and was an eyewitness to the event. Lincoln was serving as Garfield's Secretary of War
    United States Secretary of War
    The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

     at the time.
  • At President William McKinley
    William McKinley
    William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

    's invitation, Lincoln was at the Pan-American Exposition
    Pan-American Exposition
    The Pan-American Exposition was a World's Fair held in Buffalo, New York, United States, from May 1 through November 2, 1901. The fair occupied of land on the western edge of what is present day Delaware Park, extending from Delaware Ave. to Elmwood Ave and northward to Great Arrow...

     in Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

    , where the President was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz on September 6, 1901, though he was not an eyewitness to the event.


Lincoln was not present at his father's assassination.He arrived at Ford's Theater shortly after his father was shot.

Lincoln himself recognized the frequency of these coincidences. He is said to have refused a later presidential invitation with the comment "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." He did attend the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, in 1922, in the presence of both President Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 and former President William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, however. President Harding proceeded to die in office, barely half-way through his only term, fifteen months and one day later; former president (and then-Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

) Taft survived another eight years.

Robert Lincoln and Edwin Booth


In an odd coincidence, Robert Lincoln was once saved from possible serious injury or death by Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

, brother of John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor...

. The incident took place on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1864 or early 1865, shortly before John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln.

Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine:
Months later, while serving as an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, Robert Lincoln recalled the incident to his fellow officer, Colonel Adam Badeau, who happened to be a friend of Edwin Booth. Badeau sent a letter to Booth, complimenting the actor for his heroism. Before receiving the letter, Booth had been unaware that the boy whose life he had saved on the train platform had been the President's son. The incident was said to have been of some comfort to Edwin Booth following his brother's assassination of the President.

Republican politics


From 1884 to 1912, Lincoln's name was mentioned in varying degrees of seriousness as a candidate for the Republican presidential or vice-presidential nomination. At every turn, he adamantly disavowed any interest in running and stated he would not accept either position if nominated.

Death



Robert Todd Lincoln died in his sleep at Hildene
Hildene
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home located in Manchester in the U.S. state of Vermont, was the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln...

, his Vermont home, on July 26, 1926. He was 82. The cause of death was given by his physician as a "cerebral hemorrhage induced by arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis refers to a stiffening of arteries.Arteriosclerosis is a general term describing any hardening of medium or large arteries It should not be confused with "arteriolosclerosis" or "atherosclerosis".Also known by the name "myoconditis" which is...

".

He was later interred in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 in a sarcophagus designed by the sculptor James Earle Fraser. He is buried with his wife Mary and their son Jack, who died of blood poisoning at the age of 16 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

Lincoln was the last surviving member of both the Garfield and Arthur Cabinets.

Of Robert's children, Jessie Harlan Lincoln Beckwith (1875–1948) had two children, Mary Lincoln Beckwith ["Peggy" 1898 – 1975] and Robert ("Bud") Todd Lincoln Beckwith (1904–1985), neither of whom had children of their own. Robert's other daughter, Mary Todd Lincoln ("Mamie") (1869–1938) married Charles Bradley Isham in 1891. They had one son, Lincoln Isham (1892–1971). Lincoln Isham married Leahalma Correa in 1919, but died without children.

The last person known to be of direct Lincoln lineage, Robert's grandson "Bud" Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln. In 1975, he became the last undisputed descendant of Lincoln when his sister, "Peggy" Beckwith, died without children.-Biography:...

, died in 1985.

See also


  • List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s – 8 Mar. 1926


External links


Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 lawyer and Secretary of War, and the first son of President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Ann Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.-Life before the White House:...

. Born in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he was the only one of Lincoln's four sons to live past his teenage years.

Family and early life


Lincoln graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

 in 1860, then studied at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 from 1861 to 1864, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

 (Alpha chapter). (Later in life, Lincoln also joined the Delta Chi
Delta Chi
Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...

 fraternity.) He then enrolled in Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

 but did not graduate. Much to the embarrassment of the President, Mary Todd Lincoln prevented Robert Lincoln from joining the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 until shortly before the war's conclusion in 1865. He held the rank of captain, serving in the last weeks of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 as part of General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

's immediate staff, a position which sharply minimized the likelihood that he would be involved in actual combat. He was present at Appomattox
Battle of Appomattox Courthouse
The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate States Army General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of the last battles of the American...

 when Lee surrendered.


Lincoln had a distant relationship with his father, in part because Abraham Lincoln spent months on the judicial circuit during his formative years. Robert would later say his most vivid image of his father was of his packing his saddlebags to prepare for his travels through Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. Abraham Lincoln was proud of Robert and thought him bright, but also saw him as something of a competitor, and once said, "he guessed Bob would not do better than he had." The two lacked the strong bond Lincoln had with his sons Willie
William Wallace Lincoln
William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln was the third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He died at the age of 11. He was named after Mary's brother-in-law Dr. William Wallace.- Final illness and death :...

 and Tad
Tad Lincoln
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was the fourth and youngest son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. The nickname "Tad" was given to him by his father who found Thomas "as wriggly as a tadpole" when he was a baby. Tad was known to be impulsive, unrestrained, and did not attend school...

, but Robert deeply admired his father and wept openly at his deathbed.

Following his father's assassination, in April 1865, Robert Lincoln moved with his mother and his brother Tad to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, where Robert completed his law studies at the University of Chicago
Old University of Chicago
The University of Chicago, now known as the Old University of Chicago , was a school founded by Baptists in Chicago in 1857...

 (a school different from but whose name was later assumed by the university currently known by that name
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

). He was admitted to the bar on February 25, 1867.

On September 24, 1868, Robert Lincoln married the former Mary Eunice Harlan (September 25, 1846 – March 31, 1937), the daughter of Senator James Harlan
James Harlan (senator)
James Harlan was a member of the United States Senate and a U.S. Cabinet Secretary.-Biography:Harlan represented the state of Iowa in the United States Senate as a member of the Free Soil Party in 1855. In 1857 the Senate declared the seat vacant because of irregularities in the legislative...

 and Ann Eliza Peck of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Henry County, Iowa, in the United States. The population was 8,668 in the 2010 census, a decline from 8,751 in the 2000 census. It was founded in 1835 by pioneer Presley Saunders.- History :...

. They had two daughters and one son:
  • Mary "Mamie" Lincoln (October 15, 1869 – November 21, 1938)
  • Abraham Lincoln II
    Abraham Lincoln II
    Abraham "Jack" Lincoln II , was the middle of three children of Robert Todd Lincoln and Mary Eunice Harlan, and the only grandson of Abraham Lincoln...

     (nicknamed "Jack") (August 14, 1873 – March 5, 1890)
  • Jessie Harlan Lincoln
    Jessie Harlan Lincoln
    Jessie Harlan Lincoln was the second daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln, the granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln, and the mother of Mary Lincoln Beckwith and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last Lincoln descendant.-Early life:...

     (November 6, 1875 – January 4, 1948)

His mother's "spend-thrift" ways and eccentric behavior concerned Robert Lincoln. Fearing that his mother was a danger to herself, he was left with no choice but to have her committed to a psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 in Batavia, Illinois
Batavia, Illinois
Batavia was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois, with a small portion in DuPage County. During the Industrial Revolution, Batavia became known as ‘The Windmill City’ for being the largest windmill producer of the time...

 in 1875. With his mother in the hospital, he was left with control of her finances. On May 20, 1875, she arrived at Bellevue Place, a private, upscale sanitarium in the Fox River Valley. Three months after being installed in Bellevue Place, Mary Lincoln engineered her escape. She smuggled letters to her lawyer, James B. Bradwell
James B. Bradwell
James Bolesworth Bradwell was a prominent Illinois lawyer, judge, and politician.-Biography:James B. Bradwell was born April 16, 1828, at Loughborough, England, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bradwell. Sixteen months after his birth, Bradwell's family moved to Utica, New York...

, and his wife, Myra Bradwell
Myra Bradwell
Myra Colby Bradwell was a publisher and political activist. She was the first woman to be admitted to the Illinois bar to become the first female lawyer in Illinois in 1892.-Life:...

, who was not only her friend but also a feminist lawyer and fellow spiritualist. She also wrote to the editor of the Chicago Times, known for its sensational journalism. Soon, the public embarrassments Robert had hoped to avoid were looming, and his character and motives were in question. The director of Bellevue, who at Mary’s trial had assured the jury she would benefit from treatment at his facility, now in the face of potentially damaging publicity declared her well enough to go to Springfield to live with her sister as she desired. The committal proceedings led to a profound estrangement between Lincoln and his mother, and they never fully reconciled.

Secretary of War (1881–1885)


In 1877 he turned down President Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

' offer to appoint him Assistant Secretary of State
United States Assistant Secretary of State
In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one...

, but later accepted an appointment as President James Garfield
James Garfield
James Abram Garfield served as the 20th President of the United States, after completing nine consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Garfield's accomplishments as President included a controversial resurgence of Presidential authority above Senatorial courtesy in executive...

's Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, serving from 1881 to 1885 under Presidents Garfield and Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur
Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States . Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, Arthur struggled to overcome suspicions of his beginnings as a politician from the New York City Republican machine, succeeding at that task by embracing...

.
During his term in office, the Cincinnati Riots of 1884
Cincinnati Riots of 1884
The Cincinnati Riots of 1884, also known as the Cincinnati Courthouse Riots, were caused by public outrage over the decision of a jury to return a verdict of manslaughter in a clear case of murder....

 broke out over a case in which a jury gave a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder in a case that many suspected was rigged. 45 people died during three days of rioting before U.S. troops dispatched by Lincoln reestablished calm.

Following his service as Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, Lincoln helped Oscar Dudley in establishing the Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys in Norwood Park in 1887, after Dudley discovered "more neglected and abandoned children on the streets than stray animals." The school relocated to Glenwood
Glenwood, Illinois
Glenwood is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,000 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Glenwood is located at ....

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in 1899. It first enrolled girls in 1998. Under the name Glenwood School for Boys & Girls, the school continues to operate as a haven for boys and girls whose parents are unable to care for them.

Minister to the Court of St. James's


Lincoln served as the U.S. minister to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 from 1889 to 1893 under President Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States . Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there...

. Afterwards, he returned to private business as a lawyer.

Later life


Lincoln was general counsel of the Pullman Palace Car Company under George Pullman
George Pullman
George Mortimer Pullman was an American inventor and industrialist. He is known as the inventor of the Pullman sleeping car, and for violently suppressing striking workers in the company town he created, Pullman .-Background:Born in Brocton, New York, his family moved to Albion,...

, and was named president after Pullman's death in 1897. In 1911, Lincoln became chairman of the board, a position he held until his death in 1926.

A serious amateur astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

, Lincoln constructed an observatory at his home
Hildene
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home located in Manchester in the U.S. state of Vermont, was the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln...

 in Manchester, Vermont, and equipped it with a refracting telescope
Refracting telescope
A refracting or refractor telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image . The refracting telescope design was originally used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long focus camera lenses...

 that had a six-inch objective lens. Lincoln's telescope still exists; it has been restored and is used by a local astronomy club.

Robert Lincoln made his last public appearance at the dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 for his father's memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

 on May 30, 1922.

Presence at assassinations


Robert Lincoln was coincidentally either present or nearby when two presidential assassinations occurred.
  • At President James A. Garfield's invitation, Lincoln was at the Sixth Street Train Station in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    , where the President was shot by Charles J. Guiteau
    Charles J. Guiteau
    Charles Julius Guiteau was an American lawyer who assassinated U.S. President James A. Garfield. He was executed by hanging.- Background :...

     on July 2, 1881, and was an eyewitness to the event. Lincoln was serving as Garfield's Secretary of War
    United States Secretary of War
    The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

     at the time.
  • At President William McKinley
    William McKinley
    William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

    's invitation, Lincoln was at the Pan-American Exposition
    Pan-American Exposition
    The Pan-American Exposition was a World's Fair held in Buffalo, New York, United States, from May 1 through November 2, 1901. The fair occupied of land on the western edge of what is present day Delaware Park, extending from Delaware Ave. to Elmwood Ave and northward to Great Arrow...

     in Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

    , where the President was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz on September 6, 1901, though he was not an eyewitness to the event.


Lincoln was not present at his father's assassination.He arrived at Ford's Theater shortly after his father was shot.

Lincoln himself recognized the frequency of these coincidences. He is said to have refused a later presidential invitation with the comment "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." He did attend the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, in 1922, in the presence of both President Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 and former President William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, however. President Harding proceeded to die in office, barely half-way through his only term, fifteen months and one day later; former president (and then-Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

) Taft survived another eight years.

Robert Lincoln and Edwin Booth


In an odd coincidence, Robert Lincoln was once saved from possible serious injury or death by Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

, brother of John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor...

. The incident took place on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1864 or early 1865, shortly before John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln.

Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine:
Months later, while serving as an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, Robert Lincoln recalled the incident to his fellow officer, Colonel Adam Badeau, who happened to be a friend of Edwin Booth. Badeau sent a letter to Booth, complimenting the actor for his heroism. Before receiving the letter, Booth had been unaware that the boy whose life he had saved on the train platform had been the President's son. The incident was said to have been of some comfort to Edwin Booth following his brother's assassination of the President.

Republican politics


From 1884 to 1912, Lincoln's name was mentioned in varying degrees of seriousness as a candidate for the Republican presidential or vice-presidential nomination. At every turn, he adamantly disavowed any interest in running and stated he would not accept either position if nominated.

Death



Robert Todd Lincoln died in his sleep at Hildene
Hildene
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home located in Manchester in the U.S. state of Vermont, was the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln...

, his Vermont home, on July 26, 1926. He was 82. The cause of death was given by his physician as a "cerebral hemorrhage induced by arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis refers to a stiffening of arteries.Arteriosclerosis is a general term describing any hardening of medium or large arteries It should not be confused with "arteriolosclerosis" or "atherosclerosis".Also known by the name "myoconditis" which is...

".

He was later interred in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 in a sarcophagus designed by the sculptor James Earle Fraser. He is buried with his wife Mary and their son Jack, who died of blood poisoning at the age of 16 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

Lincoln was the last surviving member of both the Garfield and Arthur Cabinets.

Of Robert's children, Jessie Harlan Lincoln Beckwith (1875–1948) had two children, Mary Lincoln Beckwith ["Peggy" 1898 – 1975] and Robert ("Bud") Todd Lincoln Beckwith (1904–1985), neither of whom had children of their own. Robert's other daughter, Mary Todd Lincoln ("Mamie") (1869–1938) married Charles Bradley Isham in 1891. They had one son, Lincoln Isham (1892–1971). Lincoln Isham married Leahalma Correa in 1919, but died without children.

The last person known to be of direct Lincoln lineage, Robert's grandson "Bud" Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln. In 1975, he became the last undisputed descendant of Lincoln when his sister, "Peggy" Beckwith, died without children.-Biography:...

, died in 1985.

See also


  • List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s – 8 Mar. 1926


External links