Monday, March 10, 2008

Edward Baker Lincoln

Eddie Lincoln

Today is Eddie Lincoln’s birthday.

Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s second son, Edward Baker Lincoln, was born on March 10, 1846. “We have another boy,” Lincoln wrote shortly after his birth, adding, “he is very much such a child as Bob [their oldest son] was at his age—rather of a longer order.”

We don’t know very much about Eddie. When his father went to Washington to participate in Congress, two-year-old Eddie told his mother that father was “gone tapila.” We also know that Eddie liked cats and had quite a quarrel with his grandmother when she refused to let him keep one of his favorites in her house.

In addition to those meager details, we also know that he was a sickly little boy. He battled an extended illness in 1848 and again the following year. However, toward the end of 1849, Eddie's condition worsened. He came down with a high fever, brutal coughing fits, and overall exhaustion. Doctors initially thought he had a case of diphtheria, but Eddie probably had a more chronic condition called pulmonary tuberculosis. Commonly called consumption, it killed more Americans in 1850 than any other disease.

After battling this final illness for 52 days, three-year-old Eddie died on February 1, 1850.

A decade later, when President-elect Lincoln bid Springfield “an affectionate farewell,” he referred to his son Eddie. “Here I have passed from a young man to an old man,” Lincoln told the crowd, “Here my children have been born, and one is buried.”

While in the White House, the Lincolns lost another son, Willie.

Today, Abraham and Mary Lincoln are buried in Springfield, alongside three of their children, Eddie, Willie, and Tad. Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eddie was a very special boy, a lot like his younger brother Willie. It was very hard for Mary especially to get over his death and even a decade later when his name was mentioned she would still break down in tears.

God bless you Eddie.