Why does this site appear as text-only?

Edward Baker Lincoln

Loading...

Edward Baker 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.

Little is known about Eddie's life, but some sources bring forth a surviving story of the son whom his parents called “a tender boy.” Regarding Eddie's arrival, Abraham wrote to his friend, Joshua Speed, "We have another boy, born the 10th of March last. He is very much such a child as Bob was at his age - rather of a longer order."

Along with his older brother, Robert, and his parents, little Eddie set out for Washington, D.C. in October of 1847 because Abraham had been elected to the House of Representatives. In Washington, the Lincoln family boarded at Mrs. Ann G. Sprigg's boardinghouse. In the spring of 1848, Mary and the boys left Washington to visit her family in Lexington, Kentucky.

One day, during the stay in Lexington, young Robert brought home a kitten. When Eddie saw the kitten, he immediately fed and nursed the helpless animal over the protests of Mary’s stepmother, who disliked cats. 

In December 1849 Eddie became quite ill with what was thought to be diphtheria. Most likely the disease was pulmonary tuberculosis.   After 52 days of acute illness, Eddie died on February 1, 1850, a month short of his fourth birthday.

On the following Sunday, services were conducted by Reverend James Smith of the First Presbyterian Church. The little boy was buried in nearby Hutchinson's Cemetery a few blocks west of the Lincoln home.

In 1865 Eddie's remains were moved to a temporary tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. The remains of Abraham and his sons, Eddie and Willie, remained in the temporary tomb before being moved to the permanent tomb on September 19, 1871.

Eddie was an affectionate and deeply loved little boy. His loss left permanent scars in the hearts of his loving parents. A week after Eddie's death, Mary (possibly assisted by Abraham) wrote a poem entitled "Little Eddie" which was printed "by request" in the Illinois State Journal. Composed of four stanzas, the poem reads:

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.