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Robert Todd Lincoln

US Cabinet Member and Diplomat. He is best remembered as the first child of 16th US President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln and was the only one of the President's children to survive past the age of 18. After graduating from Phillips Exter Academy at Exter, New Hampshire in 1860, he attended Harvard University at Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1861 until 1865. In February 1865 he was commissioned as an assistant adjutant with the rank of captain and served in the last weeks of the American Civil War as part of General Ulysses S. Grant's immediate staff, a position which sharply minimized the likelihood that he would be involved in actual combat. He was present at Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1865 and two months later he resigned his commission. Following his father's assassination on April 14, 1865 he moved to Chicago, Illinois with his mother and youngest brother Tad where he completed his law studies at the Old University of Chicago law school (later absorbed by the Northwestern University School of Law) and was admitted to the bar in February 1867. In 1877 he turned down President Rutherford B. Hayes' offer to appoint him Assistant Secretary of State, but later accepted an appointment as President James Garfield's Secretary of War, serving from 1881 to 1885 under Presidents Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. In 1887 he assisted Oscar Dudley in establishing the Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys in Norwood Park, Illinois. In 1889 he was appointed the US minister to England (the Court of St. James) by President Benjamin Harrison, serving until 1893 during which time his young son, Abraham II "Jack", died from blood poisoning. After finishing his term, he returned to his law practice. In 1897 he became president of the Pullman Palace Car Company and in 1911 he became its chairman of the board until 1922. He died in his sleep at his home from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 82.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 628
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Todd Lincoln (1 Aug 1843–26 Jul 1926), Find A Grave Memorial no. 628, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .