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Tad Lincoln: Wikis


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Thomas Lincoln

Tad Lincoln wearing a military-style uniform
Born April 4, 1853(1853-04-04)
Springfield, Illinois, USA
Died July 15, 1871 (aged 18)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Parents Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln

Thomas "Tad" Lincoln (April 4, 1853 – July 15, 1871) was the fourth and youngest son of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln.



Tad Lincoln reading a book with his father.

During the time his father lived, Tad was impulsive, unrestrained, and did not attend school. John Hay wrote that Tad's numerous tutors in the White House usually quit in frustration. Tad had free run of the White House, and there are stories of him interrupting Presidential meetings, collecting animals, charging visitors to see his father, and more.

On April 14, 1865, Tad went to Grover's Theater to see "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" while his parents attended "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater. The same night, his father was shot by John Wilkes Booth. The news was spreading that the President had been shot and made its way to Grover's Theater. When the manager found out he made the announcement to the entire theater. Tad began running and screaming, "They killed papa! They killed papa! " Despite Mrs. Lincoln's tearful requests, White House personnel refused to bring Tad to his father's deathbed at the Petersen House. President Lincoln died at 7:22 AM on April 15.


After the assassination, the surviving Lincolns (Mary, Tad, Robert) lived together in Chicago. Tad's older brother, Robert Lincoln, moved out after a short time.

At age 12, Tad still could not read. He began attending school in 1866 and eventually learned how to read and write, but never seems to have been a good student: his mother constantly worried about his progress.

During the post-assassination years, Tad lived with his mother, to whom he was devoted. In 1868, they left Chicago and lived in Europe for two and a half years.

Tad's social history is poorly known; it is not clear that he ever had any good friends, although there is a report he did fancy a girl in Chicago. He was sometimes called "Stuttering Tad" because of a speech impediment (which was more of a lisp than a stutter) possibly related to a cleft lip or palate. The lisp later resolved.

Death and medical diagnoses

On Saturday morning, July 15, 1871, Tad died at the age of 18. The cause of death was most likely tuberculosis.[1] Tad's death occurred in the Clifton House in Chicago.


Funeral services were held for Tad in Robert Lincoln's home in Chicago. Tad's remains were transported to Springfield and buried in the Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery, alongside his father and two of his brothers. Robert accompanied the casket on the train, but Mary was too distraught to make the trip.


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