Robert Lincoln
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Robert Todd Lincoln (1843 - 1926)

Robert Todd Lincoln
Born in Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 24 Sep 1868 in Washington D.C., United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 82 in Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 18 Feb 2009
This page has been accessed 13,158 times.
U.S. President Descendant
This person is a descendant of a US President/Vice President
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Preceded by
34th Secretary
Alexander Ramsey
Robert Todd Lincoln
35th United States
Secretary of War
War Dept
Succeeded by
36th Secretary
William Endicott



Robert T. Lincoln was the sole surviving child of President Abraham Lincoln and a major political force during the 1870s through the early 20th century. Robert went by "Robert T. Lincoln", never himself using his full middle name.

After graduating from Harvard University and returning to begin study for his his law degree, he left law school to serve in the US Union Army during the early months of 1865 as a junior officer on General U.S. Grant’s staff. Captain Lincoln was present at Appomattox Courthouse with General Grant when General Robert E. Lee surrendered, and accompanied Grant back to Washington.

Robert was by his father's bed when he died. After President Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, Robert moved with his mother, Mary (Todd) Lincoln and brother, Tad, to Chicago where Robert earned his law degree in 1867. By September 1868, Robert married Mary Eunice Harlan (25 September 1846 to 31 March 1937).

They had three children: Mary "Mamie" Lincoln (15 October 1869 - 21 November 1938), Abraham Lincoln II called ‘Jack’ (14 August 1873 - 05 March 1890) and Jessie Harlan Lincoln (06 November 1875 - 04 January 1948).

In 1871, his younger brother, Tad Lincoln, died of tuberculosis in Chicago.

In 1871 under President Hayes, Robert was offered the position of Secretary of State, which he turned down.

Under President Garfield, he did accept the position of Secretary of War, serving from 1881 to 1885 (which included serving with President Chester Arthur after Garfield's death). Robert Lincoln was present at the scene when Garfield was assassinated on 02 July 1881.

Back in Illinois around 1887, he helped establish the Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys in Norwood Park, for neglected boys. The school was later expanded to include girls.

Under President Benjamin Harrison, Robert served as the U.S. Minister (Ambassador) to Great Britain from 1889 to 1893. While in London, England, in March 1890, Robert’s only son, Jack, died of blood poisoning at the age of 16.

After living in England, Robert returned to Chicago, Illinois to practice law. In the mid-1890s, he was general law counsel and later President and then Chairman of the Board in 1911 for the Pullman Palace Car Company until retiring in 1922.

On 06 September 1901, Robert was en route to Buffalo, NY where President William McKinley was shot.

He and his family had their home "Hildene" in Vermont in 1911, an escape from Chicago. In May 1922, Robert was present for the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, with President Warren Harding.

In spite of serving in the US Government at different times, "out of obligation" as he saw it, Robert had no interest in ever running or becoming a politician or US President despite a number of efforts to draft him for nomination.

Robert T. Lincoln’s two surviving daughters did marry. Jessie Harlan Lincoln Beckwith had two children (a son and a daughter). Neither of these two grandchildren ever had children of their own. The other daughter, Mary Lincoln, had one son, who married but never had children.

After 1985 with the death of the last grandchild of Robert T. Lincoln, there were no descendants of Robert Lincoln or his father, President Abraham Lincoln.

Robert T. Lincoln made his own history and mark in American history and not just in the shadow of his great father.


01 AUG 1843 Grove Tavern Inn, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA


24 Sep 1868 Washington City, District Of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States


25 July 1926 Manchester, Bennington, Vermont, United States


Name: Robert T Lincoln
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 24 Sep 1868
Event Place: District of Columbia, United States
GS Film number: 2079252
Digital Folder Number: 4539707
Image Number: 01260
  • Vermont. Vermont Death Records, 1909-2003. Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, Montpelier, Vermont. Vermont. Vermont Death Records, 2004-2008. Vital Rec
  • Passport Applications, 1795–1905. NARA Microfilm Publication M1372, 694 rolls. General Records Department of State, Record Group 59. National Archives, Washington, D.C
  • Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2009 Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box 35, Duxbury, MA 02331.
  • U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006. Author: National Cemetery Administration Nationwide Gravesite Locator.
  • Abraham Lincoln: A Paper Read Before the Royal Historical Society, London, June 16th, 1881 by Isaac Newton Arnold, (Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 10, Fergus Printing Co., Chicago, 1883) Page 45: Letter written by Robert T. Loncoln, Aug. 20, 1881
  • Two Recent Paternity Cases, The American Genealogist (The American Genealogist, Barrington, RI, 1976) Vol. 52, Page 179
  • Find a Grave, database and images (accessed 10 April 2020), memorial page for Robert Todd Lincoln (1 Aug 1843–26 Jul 1926), Find A Grave: Memorial #628, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .

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Memories: 1
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Since when was a Lincoln crest included for the Lincoln family?

Robert's father Abraham came from a poor family who originated in KY. Where is the documentation of where this crest came from?

posted 11 Feb 2014 by M. (Stewart) H.   [thank M.]
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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Robert by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Robert:

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