The Lincoln family as represented at the new Lincoln museum in Springfield. Tad is the youngest of the Lincoln's four boys, and the one you hear the most about, mainly because of his antics in the White House. (see my previous blog post) Robert, the oldest, was more of a Todd than a Lincoln, and never really developed much of a relationship with his father.
The second child, Eddie, died a month before his fourth birthday. The Lincolns described him as a warm-hearted, loving child.It was the Lincoln's third child, William Wallace, called Willie, that I believe was their most special gift. The development of the railroads allowed Lincoln to spend the weekends at home with his kids, and he became very fond of Willie. Once, after watching Willie solve an interpersonal problem, Lincoln remarked that he (Lincoln) solved problems the same way. Those who knew the boy considered him intelligent, generous, and kind.
Willie was described as being "of great mental activity, unusual intelligence, wonderful memory, methodical, frank and loving, a counterpart of his father, save that he was handsome." Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote: “He was an avid reader, a budding writer, and generally sweet-tempered, all reminiscent of his father.”
Willie tragically died of typhoid fever at age 11. Abraham said, "My poor boy. He was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!"