Robert Todd Lincoln
Captain, United States Army & Secretary of War
Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843-June 26, 1926), was the sole child of President
Abraham Lincoln to live to maturity.
He served on U.S. Grant's staff during the Civil War, following his graduation from Harvard. While still a youth he was rescued from falling from a moving train by Edwin Booth, elder brother of John Wilkes Booth (the assassin of his father).
He was connected with the assassinations of three American Presidents. He was present at his father's bedside when he died; was in the crowd at the Washington, DC, railroad station when President James Garfield was shot; and was at the Buffalo (NY) Pan-American Exposition when President William McKinley was shot. He later refused to attend Presidential functions, believing that he somehow brought bad luck to them.
He served the United States as the last Minister to Great Britain (before the title was changed to Ambassador) and as Secretary of War under President Garfield. His only son, Abraham Lincoln II, died in France while Robert was serving as Minister in London (see separate information on the younger Lincoln).
He later became President of the Pullman Company in Chicago. He was also present at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
He died at his summer retreat, "Hildene," in Manchester, Vermont, where he had become a virtual recluse in the later years. He was described in contemporary reports as "A full-fleshed man, bearded and bespectacled who was impeccable in his social relations and personal grooming." He spent much of his time protecting his family against sensation seekers and speculators and was put into the position of having his mother (Mary Todd Lincoln) committed to a mental institution when her irrational behavior became worse. He is the only member of his father's immediate family not to be buried in the Lincoln family plot in Springfield, Illinois.
LINCOLN, ROBERT TODD
Robert Todd Lincoln's Home (Hildene)
Courtesy of the Friends of Hildene
William Howard Taft, President Harding and Robert Todd Lincoln At the Dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
Photo (c) Michael Robert Patterson, July 1997
Updated: 16 December 2000 Updated: 17 August 2001 Updated: 31 August 2002 Updated: 14 June 2003 Updated: 31 August 2003
Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 15 January 2006 Updated: 1 December 2006 Updated: 30 March 2007
Photos By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003