US Lincoln, Robert Todd

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

gentlemanrob

Brigadier General
Moderator
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
1,818
Location
NE Georgia - SC
Robert Todd Lincoln

Lincoln 1.jpg
Born:
August 1, 1843

Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois

Father: President Abraham Lincoln 1809 – 1865
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois)​

Mother: Mary Ann Todd 1818 – 1882
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois)​

Wife: Mary Eunice Harlan 1846 – 1937
(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia)​

Married: September 24, 1868

Signature:
Linicoln Signature.png


Children:


Mary Todd “Mamie” Lincoln Isham 1869 – 1938​
(Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York)​
Abraham “Jack” Lincoln II 1873 – 1890​
(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia)
Lincoln 3.jpg
Jessie Harlan Lincoln 1875 – 1948​
(Buried: Dellwood Cemetery, Manchester, Vermont)​

Education:

1860: Graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy​
1864: Graduated from Harvard College​
1864 – 1865: Attended Harvard Law School​
Finished his law studies at University of Chicago Law School​

Civil War Career:

1865: Assistant Adjutant and Captain on General Grant’s Staff​
1865: Turned down invitation to attend Ford’s Theatre​
1865: Resigned from the Army on June 12th
1865: Wrote President Johnson for extension to stay at White House​

Occupation after War:
Lincoln 4.jpg


1867: Became a licensed Attorney in Chicago, Illinois​
Attorney in Chicago Illinois​
1875: Committed his mother to Psychiatric Hospital in Batavia, Illinois​
His mother tried to embarrass him, and a commitment trial was held​
Lincoln and his mother were never able to fully reconcile after trial​
1881 – 1885: United States Secretary of United States War Dept.​
1884: Unsuccessful Candidate for Republican Nomination​
1887: Helped establish Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys
Lincoln 2.jpg
1888: Unsuccessful Candidate for Republican Nomination​
1889 – 1893: United States Minister to Great Britain​
1892: Received 1 vote at Republican Convention for Nomination​
General Counsel and President of Pullman’s Palace Car Company​
Built an observatory at his home in Manchester, Vermont​
1922: Made his last public appearance at dedication ceremony for his father’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.​

Died: July 26, 1926

Place of Death: Manchester, Vermont

Age at time of Death: 82 years old

Burial Place: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Lincoln last.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

DBF

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
1,301
I can’t really fault either Mary or Robert Lincoln and what happened to them after the death of the President. Much has been said about Mary and the rest of her life, but I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Robert to grow-up in the shadow of a martyred and soon to be viewed “god-like” man. At 21 Robert was now “man of the family” - a distraught mother and a young and “spoiled by his father” 12 year old brother.

After Tad’s death, Robert and Mary were forced to deal with a tragedy. As I found in this article:

“Mary was once again hysterical. Robert was once again burdened with funeral plans, a solitary trip to Springfield with a coffin, a wife and baby who refused to come home, and a devastated mother whose grief could not be controlled. On the verge of a nervous breakdown himself, he consulted his doctor, who advised him to “get away” from that toxic atmosphere immediately. Perhaps lacking the courage or stamina, or both, to face his mother, Robert callously left her a note. Mrs. Abraham Lincoln was now alone in a big house, with no one except the servants, who had grown tired of her incessant weeping and wailing, and offered no comfort.” {*}

The article ends by stating:

“The relationship between mother and son was permanently scarred. Robert Lincoln was a private man, assiduously shunning the public eye, and acutely aware of being the keeper of the Lincoln flame, whether he liked it or not. His own deep pain at the course of events remained secreted in a hidden compartment of his private office for nearly a century. When his files on Mary Lincoln’s “insanity hearings” were finally discovered, containing legalistic documents and all the letters that he meticulously maintained, through it all, weaves the huge sadness and agony of Robert Todd Lincoln.” {*}

It’s a tragic family story.

*https://featherfoster.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/mary-and-robert-lincoln-a-family-tragedy/
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

DBF

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
1,301
that his mother and his wife disliked each other
Robert married a woman, also named Mary, and to quote from my original source in my post above:

"Unfortunately the Lincoln house was not big enough for two Mary Lincolns, and Robert’s wife, forming a bitter dislike for her touchy and rather imperious mother-in-law, took the baby and went back to her own mother.”
 

Canadian

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
627
I can’t really fault either Mary or Robert Lincoln and what happened to them after the death of the President. Much has been said about Mary and the rest of her life, but I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Robert to grow-up in the shadow of a martyred and soon to be viewed “god-like” man. At 21 Robert was now “man of the family” - a distraught mother and a young and “spoiled by his father” 12 year old brother.

After Tad’s death, Robert and Mary were forced to deal with a tragedy. As I found in this article:

“Mary was once again hysterical. Robert was once again burdened with funeral plans, a solitary trip to Springfield with a coffin, a wife and baby who refused to come home, and a devastated mother whose grief could not be controlled. On the verge of a nervous breakdown himself, he consulted his doctor, who advised him to “get away” from that toxic atmosphere immediately. Perhaps lacking the courage or stamina, or both, to face his mother, Robert callously left her a note. Mrs. Abraham Lincoln was now alone in a big house, with no one except the servants, who had grown tired of her incessant weeping and wailing, and offered no comfort.” {*}

The article ends by stating:

“The relationship between mother and son was permanently scarred. Robert Lincoln was a private man, assiduously shunning the public eye, and acutely aware of being the keeper of the Lincoln flame, whether he liked it or not. His own deep pain at the course of events remained secreted in a hidden compartment of his private office for nearly a century. When his files on Mary Lincoln’s “insanity hearings” were finally discovered, containing legalistic documents and all the letters that he meticulously maintained, through it all, weaves the huge sadness and agony of Robert Todd Lincoln.” {*}

It’s a tragic family story.

*https://featherfoster.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/mary-and-robert-lincoln-a-family-tragedy/
Every time I read about Mary Todd Lincoln’s “madness” or “hysteria” I wonder what her side of the story was. Honestly, I find the description of Robert’s “burden” pales in comparison to losing two sons and a husband in the space of a few years. It was understandable that Mary would not have felt up to making that trip.
 

Canadian

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
627
I can’t really fault either Mary or Robert Lincoln and what happened to them after the death of the President. Much has been said about Mary and the rest of her life, but I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Robert to grow-up in the shadow of a martyred and soon to be viewed “god-like” man. At 21 Robert was now “man of the family” - a distraught mother and a young and “spoiled by his father” 12 year old brother.

After Tad’s death, Robert and Mary were forced to deal with a tragedy. As I found in this article:

“Mary was once again hysterical. Robert was once again burdened with funeral plans, a solitary trip to Springfield with a coffin, a wife and baby who refused to come home, and a devastated mother whose grief could not be controlled. On the verge of a nervous breakdown himself, he consulted his doctor, who advised him to “get away” from that toxic atmosphere immediately. Perhaps lacking the courage or stamina, or both, to face his mother, Robert callously left her a note. Mrs. Abraham Lincoln was now alone in a big house, with no one except the servants, who had grown tired of her incessant weeping and wailing, and offered no comfort.” {*}

The article ends by stating:

“The relationship between mother and son was permanently scarred. Robert Lincoln was a private man, assiduously shunning the public eye, and acutely aware of being the keeper of the Lincoln flame, whether he liked it or not. His own deep pain at the course of events remained secreted in a hidden compartment of his private office for nearly a century. When his files on Mary Lincoln’s “insanity hearings” were finally discovered, containing legalistic documents and all the letters that he meticulously maintained, through it all, weaves the huge sadness and agony of Robert Todd Lincoln.” {*}

It’s a tragic family story.

*https://featherfoster.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/mary-and-robert-lincoln-a-family-tragedy/
After reading the rest of the article my sympathies are increasingly with Mary. She may not have been a very likeable person from many accounts but I don’t think she deserved the treatment she got. She was grieving multiple deaths, was given no pension at the time and had no way of making a living. I would be unbearable in circumstances less dire.
As for Robert, there must have been some better way to deal with a grieving and difficult parent. Putting her in the sanitarium seems cruel.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
10,880
Every time I read about Mary Todd Lincoln’s “madness” or “hysteria” I wonder what her side of the story was. Honestly, I find the description of Robert’s “burden” pales in comparison to losing two sons and a husband in the space of a few years. It was understandable that Mary would not have felt up to making that trip.
I watched a lecture the other day about comparing the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy and was very interested in the comparison of Mary Lincoln's and Jacqueline Kennedy's reactions to their husband's deaths. I felt the comparison of Mrs. Kennedy"s graceful stoicism with Mrs. Lincoln's descent into prostrated grief was egregious. They were two very different women who reacted in their own ways to a catastrophic event. Our upbringings and personalities dictate how we react to trauma. Who has the right to make a judgement on that response.

On the other hand, it is well to remind our selves that Robert was only 21 years old, and had lost his father in a most shocking and tragic manner. He may well have been racked by guilt with the thought that if he HAD gone to the theatre, he might have somehow saved his father. He is suddenly thrown into the position of being the "head" of the family and responsible for his mother and young brother. Who is there to console him?

My point is that Robert's loss is no less than Mary's. He lost his brothers and his father, and he was left to pick up the pieces at an age when most young men are just embarking on their own lives. John Wilkes Booth had a lot to answer for when he fired that pistol.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,165
Robert Todd Lincoln was a genuinely awful human being, even aside for the mistreatment of his mother. He played a disgraceful role in the great Pullman Railroad Strike of 1893 (Lincoln was exec of Pullman).

Also a draft dodger during the CW.
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
10,880
Robert Todd Lincoln was a genuinely awful human being, even aside for the mistreatment of his mother. He played a disgraceful role in the great Pullman Railroad Strike of 1893 (Lincoln was exec of Pullman).

Also a draft dodger during the CW.
He was on Grant' staff at the end of the war and was with him at Appomattox. Although he wanted to join earlier, his mother begged him not to enlist. Lincoln finally got Grant to take Robert on, because he really want to go.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,165
He was on Grant' staff at the end of the war and was with him at Appomattox. Although he wanted to join earlier, his mother begged him not to enlist. Lincoln finally got Grant to take Robert on, because he really want to go.
While thousands of young men were being slaughtered on the fileds of battle, young Robert Lincoln was enjoying himself as a student at Harvard. While the USA and CSA govt.'s were forcing many many youngsters on to the killing fields, Robert's Dad got him a cushy HQ job where he would be safe from danger or discomfort.

I'm sure Robert's mother didn't want him to get hurt. That's fine. But so did a lot of the mothers of less provileged young men.
 
Last edited:

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
19,663
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Tad was still alive in 1865. I'm not sure why narratives tend to forget him, still in the story until 1871.

You know, while it's probably true Robert was tasked with responsibilities after his father's murder this was a US President. When we lose one while in office the government he served plays a huge role- remember Stanton refusing to allow photos of Lincoln in his coffin? Robert wouldn't have been involved in that decision nor in the following, lengthy mourning or burial. It's not like anyone called Robert to please come get his dead father from the Peterson house and do something with him.

Mary Todd was his mother. She'd lost two sons, one a fairly fresh loss, been vilified mercilessly North, rejected by the South for being a Southern woman married to the enemiest enemy of them all, seems to have been badly concussed in the 1863 carriage accident, had her very, own personal stalker and her husband murdered while she held his hand, his brains in her lap. WAS her prostration an unreasonable reaction? Opinion here, no, it was not. Report from that gun was probably still echoing in her head. Stanton kicked her out of the room because she was hysterical and crying, at the Peterson house. She became some kind of ' problem ' in the few days after his death, pretty much alone in the White House. Biggest concern seems to have been how to get her outa there.

Still see Robert as weak. Losing his father a shock, certainly. At 21, he was older than a lot of men/boys who'd gone off to war, bet quite a few leaving wives and children behind. No one ( or almost no one ) is allll bad. Maybe he did as well as could at the time, his later debacle dragging his mother through court systems weighs the scales heavily towards ' bad ' as does the Pullman story.

He played a disgraceful role in the great Pullman Railroad Strike of 1893 (Lincoln was exec of Pullman).

He was their corporate lawyer at the time, president of Pullman after George died. And WHEW. ' Chuckled ' when asked if his policy of denying salaries to black workers and insisting they work for tips only was fair. That was after all the blood resulted in their union's dissolution.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top