Abraham Lincoln: Family


Figure 1.--This idealized drawing of the Lincolns in the White House shows Robert, Tad, and Willie. Notice that while Tad, the youngest son wears long pants, they are above his ankles.

Mary Todd Lincoln was not the first woman in Lincoln's life. When he was 26, the love of his life died. It may well be that the marriage with Mary was more of a political step, knowing that to advance he need the help of someone with social graces. What ever his personal feelings, he was a devoted husband and father. Mary Todd Lincoln is beyond doubt the most tragic of all America's First Ladies. Other have suffered great losses, but none so many losses beginning at such an early age. As a result, she was incapable of giving her husband the support that would have been so valuable for a man undergoing the trials faced by few men. It should always be remembered that the bright, vivacious young lady that Lincoln married was a great asset to his Illinois political career and without Mary, he may never have been so successful politically. The Lincolns had four sons. Mary would have certainly liked to have had a little girl to dress up and fuss over, but she loved the boys deeply. It is difficult to imagine two more loving parents. The Lincoln boys had extremely varied personalities. Robert was somewhat dour. Eddie and Taddie bubbly, Willie more contemplative. Taddie may have been mildly retarded or at least had learning difficulties. Willie was a very bright child. They were extremely permissive parents and the antics of Taddie and Willie are legendary. Willie perhaps the most beloved of all the Lincoln children died in the White House.

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882)

Mary Todd Lincoln is beyond doubt the most tragic of all America's First Ladies. Other have suffered great losses, but none so many losses beginning at such an early age. As a result, she was incapable of giving her husband the support that would have been so valuable for a man undergoing the trials faced by few men. It should always be remembered that the bright, vivacious young lady that Lincoln married was a great asset to his Illinois political career and without Mary, he may never have been so successful politically. We know more about Mary Lincoln as a failing First Lady and not about the years in Springfield where was a valuable partner in her husband's political career.

The Children

The Lincolns had four sons. Mary would have certainly liked to have had a little girl to dress up and fuss over, but she loved the boys deeply. It is difficult to imagine two more loving parents. The Lincoln boys had extremely varied personalities. Robert was somewhat dour. Eddie and Taddie bubbly, Willie more contemplative. Taddie may have been mildly retarded or at least had learning difficulties. Or perhaps it was something like ADT. Willie was a very bright child. They were extremely permissive parents and the antics of Taddie and Willie are legendary. Willie perhaps the most beloved of all the Lincoln children died in the White House. Tragedy, however, stalked the Lincoln family. Mary would lose three of the four children. Willie perhaps the most beloved of all the Lincoln children died in the White House. Only two of the children survived their father and only one lived to maturity. The loss combined with the assassination of her husband was too much for one woman to bear. Even before he was shot, her husband had agonized over her sanity.







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Created: 8:39 PM 8/7/2008
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Last changed: 4:07 AM 2/14/2013