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Abraham Lincoln II

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Abraham Lincoln II

Abraham Lincoln II
Born August 14, 1873
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died March 5, 1890(1890-03-05) (aged 16)
London, England
Cause of death
Blood poisoning
Resting place
originally the Lincoln Tomb (1890–1930),
Arlington National Cemetery section 31 (May 27, 1930 – present)
Other names "Jack"
Known for being a namesake and grandson of President Lincoln

Abraham "Jack" Lincoln II (August 14, 1873 – March 5, 1890), was the middle of three children of Robert Todd Lincoln and Mary Eunice Harlan, and the only grandson of Abraham Lincoln. Jack and his sisters were described as ‘bright, natural, unpretentious children, well liked by the people of the town’.[1] It was claimed that Jack was much like President Lincoln.[2]

Abraham Lincoln II (top), with his sisters Mary "Mamie" Lincoln (left) and Jessie Harlan Lincoln (right) in 1889

Illness and death

At the age of 16, Jack was in Versailles to study French in preparation for an entrance examination for Harvard University.[2] His family was in England while his father served as the last U.S. Minister to Great Britain, before the position was retitled "Ambassador".[3] Jack fell ill with blood poisoning after infection set in following surgery in Paris to lance a carbuncle that had formed under his arm.[2] He was moved from France to England on January 16, 1890, where he was to have been seen by the noted physician Thomas John MacLagan.[2] A second surgery was performed on February 27, 1890, though it gave no relief and Jack died six days later at the family residence.[2]

A 20th century biographer wrote that while Jack was weak, he had been recovering. Jack's father, Robert, was said to be in their sitting room with Henry White when daughter Mary rushed in with the words, "Go upstairs quickly." Robert returned ten minutes later with the news of Jack's death.[4] He later wrote, "We had a long & most anxious struggle and at times had hopes of saving our boy. It would have been done if it had depended only on his own marvelous pluck & patience now that the end has come, there is a great blank in our future lives & an affliction not to be measured."[5]


On May 8, 1890, The Pall Mall Gazette reported that a funeral service was held "in the drawing-room of the United States Minister at Cornwall House", attended by the entire Legation and marked by "an immense number of floral tributes from friends and American citizens in London". The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Munro Gibson, the Presbyterian minister who had baptized Jack, and married his parents.[6] The registers of the General Cemetery Company record that the remains of 'Abraham Lincoln' were deposited in Catacomb Z, beneath the Dissenters' Chapel of Kensal Green Cemetery on 7 March 1890.[7] His father accompanied the coffin back to Illinois, where Jack was buried in the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois on November 8, 1890. His mother later decided on burial at Arlington National Cemetery and Jack's remains were re-interred there in May 1930 near those of his father, who had died four years earlier.[8][9] Jack's name was not added to his father's memorial until 1976.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Biography and Family Line of the Lincolns". 
  2. ^ a b c d e Schwartz, Thomas F. (Autumn 2007). "A Death in the Family : Abraham Lincoln II "Jack" (1873–1890)" (PDF). For the People. Abraham Lincoln Association. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Robert Lincoln". part of an Abraham Lincoln Research Site. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Goff, John S. (1969). Robert Todd Lincoln: A Man in His Own Right. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma.  
  5. ^ a b Patterson, Michael Robert. "Abraham Lincoln II, Military Son". Arlington National Cemetery website. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
  6. ^ The Pall Mall Gazette, March 8, 1890.
  7. ^ Register entry 24891, General Cemetery Company.
  8. ^ Abraham Lincoln's Tomb. Abraham Lincoln Online. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
  9. ^ Hill, Nancy. "The Lincoln Landscape: The Transformation of the Lincoln Tomb" Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Vol. 27, No. 1, Winter 2006, p. 39. Retrieved April 5, 2007.


  • Robert Todd Lincoln Tomb, Abraham Lincoln Online
  • Mary Todd Lincoln's Ancestors, Abraham Lincoln Discovery

External links

  • Picture History, photo of Jack on December 25, 1889, "bed-bound and dying"
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