by Tom Emery
Among the cherished images of Abraham Lincoln in American history and lore is that of a family man, playfully devoted to his four sons. But one of those boys has been sorely overlooked by history.
That “forgotten” child is Eddie Lincoln, the second son of the Lincoln family, who passed away just before the age of four on Feb. 1, 1850. His story has been relegated mainly to scattered references in various works of Lincoln’s life, despite the pronounced impact that his life – and tragic death – had on both of his parents.
Edward Baker Lincoln was born March 10, 1846 to a Lincoln household that was just finding its way socially, professionally, and financially. Abraham and Mary Lincoln had been married for three and a half years when the boy was born, following their first son, Robert, the only one of the four who would live past his teen years. Named for Lincoln friend and political associate Edward Dickinson Baker, Eddie would never know his other two brothers, both born after his death.
Indeed, the world of the Lincolns was much different in Eddie’s life than what most commonly associate with the sixteenth President today. During Eddie’s life, Abraham Lincoln was barely a household name in Illinois, let alone nationally. The little boy never saw the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the White House, the Civil War, or the assassination that ensured his father’s place among American immortals.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.