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Daguerreotype photograph of Eddie Lincoln, age 3

Edward Baker "Eddie" Lincoln (March 10, 1846 – February 1, 1850) was the second son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He was named after Lincoln's friend Edward Dickinson Baker, and the youngest Lincoln son to die.

His mother spelled his name "Eddie," while his father spelled it "Eddy."

Contents

Early life

Little is known about the Lincoln's second boy, but there's a surviving story that says one day during a visit to Mary's family, Eddie's older brother, Robert, found a kitten and brought it to the house. Despite Mary’s stepmother's dislike of cats and order to throw it out, Eddie screamed and protested. He nursed and cared for the helpless kitten, which he loved. Eddie was described by his parents as a tender-hearted, kind, and loving child.

Death

Eddie died one month short of his fourth birthday. Census records list "chronic consumption" as the cause of death, however, it has been suggested that Eddie died of a different wasting disease: medullary thyroid cancer as part of the genetic cancer syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B, that his father and two of his brothers may have shared.[1]

Eddie's remains are buried at Lincoln tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, USA. Both parents were devastated. Some historians believe Eddie's death began Mary Todd's journey to instability. A week after Eddie's death, Mary and Abraham wrote a poem (though authorship is sometimes questioned) entitled "Little Eddie." It was printed in the Illinois State Journal (a newspaper).

Those midnight stars are sadly dimmed, That late so brilliantly shone, And the crimson tinge from cheek and lip, With the heart's warm life has flown - The angel of Death was hovering nigh, And the lovely boy was called to die. The silken waves of his glossy hair Lie still over his marble brow, And the pallid lip and pearly cheek The presence of Death avow. Pure little bud in kindness given, In mercy taken to bloom in heaven. Happier far is the angel child With the harp and the crown of gold, Who warbles now at the Savior's feet The glories to us untold. Eddie, meet blossom of heavenly love, Dwells in the spirit-world above. Angel Boy - fare thee well, farewell Sweet Eddie, We bid thee adieu! Affection's wail cannot reach thee now Deep though it be, and true. Bright is the home to him now given For "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."'

The final line is on the boy's tombstone. The next child of Abraham and Mary (Willie Lincoln) was born ten months after Eddie's death.

References

  1. ^ Sotos
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External links

Books

  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Mt. Vernon, VA: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-82490.  

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