Abraham and Mary Lincoln only had one of their four sons to live into maturity. Their eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926), would marry, celebrate the birth of three children, and prosper as an attorney, US Minister to The United Kingdom, 35th US Secretary of War, and president of the Pullman Palace Car Company.
Robert Todd Lincoln married Mary Eunice Harlan, the daughter of Senator James Harlan of Iowa. They had three children,
- Mary “Mamie” Lincoln Harlan, October 15, 1869 – November 21, 1938
- Abraham “Jack” Lincoln II, August 14, 1873 – March 5, 1890
- Mary Harlan Lincoln, November 6, 1875 – January 4, 1948
Jack Lincoln was raised in privilege, far from the impoverished life of his famous grandfather who died eight years before his birth. He was the only direct link in the Lincoln bloodline to officially carry the Lincoln name.
Sadly, while studying in Paris, France, Jack had a minor operation for a carbuncle. Returned to London where his father was serving as Minister to the Court of St. James (now known as an ambassador), infection set in and Jack Lincoln died, thus ending the direct Lincoln male line.
Jack was originally buried in the Lincoln family tomb in Springfield, Illinois; however, his mother, seemingly still disgruntled with her mother-in-law, removed Jack’s remains following the death of her husband to Arlington Cemetery. Robert Lincoln’s wishes to be buried with his family were denied.
I ran across two photographs of the convalescing Jack Lincoln and was struck by how he had traded in his young round-faced boy for the familiar gaunt-faced image of his grandfather and namesake, even down to the unruly crop of hair.
Jack’s sisters bore children who did not have any children of their own. The last line of Abraham and Mary Lincoln was Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, 1904–1985.