Robert Todd Lincoln


Robert Todd Lincoln


Robert Todd Lincoln was home from Harvard on a visit at the time that his father was assassinated. After the shooting he sat by his father’s bedside until he died. He had no political ambitions, preferring the life of a lawyer. But President James Garfield called him away from his practice to occupy the post of secretary of war in 1881. He reluctantly accepted. Later that same year Robert Lincoln arrived at the Washington railroad station just in time to see Garfield shot. Twenty years later, as president of the Pullman Company, Robert Lincoln was invited to bring his family to meet President William McKinley. As they arrived they heard the news: the president had just been shot. Robert Lincoln observed, “There is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.”

Biographical Note: 

Robert Todd Lincoln was a U.S. politician and businessman. Robert was the only son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to maturity. He was minister to Great Britain (1889-93).