Lincoln wearing a military-style uniform, c. 1860s
April 4, 1853
|Died||July 15, 1871
|Parents||Abraham and Mary Lincoln|
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln (April 4, 1853 – July 15, 1871) was the fourth and youngest son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. The nickname "Tad" was given to him by his father who found Thomas "as wriggly as a tadpole" when he was a baby. Tad was known to be impulsive and unrestrained, and did not attend school. He had free run of the White House, and there are stories of him interrupting Presidential meetings, collecting animals, and charging visitors to see his father. Tad outlived his father, but died at the age of 18 on July 15, 1871, in Chicago.
Early life and education 
Thomas Lincoln was born on April 4, 1853, the fourth son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. The couple's other children were Robert, born in 1843; "Eddie", born in 1846, who died in February 1850 of tuberculosis; and "Willie", born in December 1850. Named after his paternal grandfather Thomas Lincoln, the fourth boy was soon nicknamed "Tad" by his father, for his small body and large head. Lincoln said as an infant, he wiggled like a tadpole. Tad's first name has occasionally been erroneously recorded as Thaddeus.
Tad was born with a form of cleft lip and palate, causing him speech problems throughout his life. He had a lisp, and delivered his words rapidly and unintelligibly. Often only those close to Tad were able to understand him. For example he called his father's bodyguard, William H Crook, "Took" and called his father "Papa Day" instead of "Papa Dear". The cleft palate contributed to uneven teeth; he had difficulty chewing his food to the extent that his meals were specially prepared.
Tad and his brother Willie were considered "notorious hellions" during the period they lived in Springfield. They're recorded by Abraham's law partner William Herndon for turning their law office upside down; pulling the books off the shelves, while their father appeared oblivious to their behavior.
White House years 
Upon their father's election as President both Tad and Willie moved into the White House and it became their new playground and home. At the request of Mrs. Lincoln, Julia Taft brought her younger brothers, 12-year-old "Bud" and 8-year-old "Holly" to the White House and they became playmates of Tad and Willie.
In February 1862 both Tad and Willie contracted typhoid and both boys were bedridden. Willie died on the 21st of the month but Tad recovered. After Willie's death Abraham and Mary Lincoln became even more lenient towards Tad's behavior.
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 assassinated and when the news spread to Grover's Theater the manager made an announcement to the entire audience. Tad began running and screaming, "They killed Papa! They killed Papa!" Tad was escorted back to the White House while his mother pleaded to have Tad brought to his father's deathbed at the Petersen House. "Bring Tad—he will speak to Tad—he loves him so." Late that night an inconsolable Tad was put to bed by a White House doorman. As to the death of his father Tad said:
"Pa is dead. I can hardly believe that I shall never see him again. I must learn to take care of myself now. Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president's son now. I won't have many presents anymore. Well, I will try and be a good boy, and will hope to go someday to Pa and brother Willie, in Heaven."
Later life 
After the assassination, the surviving Lincolns (Mary, Tad, Robert) lived together in Chicago. Tad's older brother, Robert, moved out after a short time.
After his father's assassination, Tad lived with his mother. In 1868, they left Chicago and lived in Europe for almost three years.
He did suffer from what one modern commentator has called a "complex speech and language disorder" related to some form of a cleft lip or palate and this caused some issues when he was in school in Chicago. While at the Elizabeth Street School, his schoolmates sometimes called him "Stuttering Tad" because of the speech impediment (which he was able to overcome as a teenager).
On Saturday morning, July 15, 1871, Tad died at the age of 18. The cause of death has been variously referred to as tuberculosis, a pleuristic attack, pneumonia, or congestive heart failure. [Note 1] Tad's death occurred at the Clifton House hotel in Chicago. In an obituary, John Hay affectionately referred to him as "Little Tad".
Funeral services were held for Tad in Robert Lincoln's home in Chicago. His 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.
- Emerson, Jason (2012). Giant in the Shadows:The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. SIU (Southern Illinois University) Press. p. 478. "With serious effusion compressing the lungs and crowding the nearby heart, there was not enough oxygen to maintain the life centers of the brain"(quoting MIlton Shutes, "Mortality of the Five Lincoln Boys", Lincoln Herald, vol. 57 (Spring 1955), p. 7.)
- Wead (2003), pp. 89–90.
- Hutchinson (2009), para. 2.
- Hutchinson (2009), para. 11.
- Bayne (2001), p. 3.
- Hutchinson (2009), para. 16.
- Hutchinson (2009), para. 22.
- Wead (2003), p. 90.
- Wead (2003), p. 91.
- Bayne (2001), pp. 1–3.
- Wead (2003), pp. 91–92.
- Wead (2003), p. 93.
- Wead (2003), pp. 93–94.
- Emerson, Jason (2012). Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. SIU (Southern Illinois University) Press. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Hutchinson, John M. (Winter 2009). "What Was Tad Lincoln's Speech Problem?". Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 30 (1). Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "Abraham Lincoln and Chicago (Abraham Lincoln's Classroom)". The Lincoln Institute. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Davenport, Don (2001). In Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Guide to the Lincoln Sites in Illinois. Big Earth Publishing. p. 210.
- Davenport, Page 153
- "The Lincoln Boys". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Davenport, Page 153
- Hay, John (1871). In Michael Burlingame (2006). At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings. SIU (Southern Illinois University) Press. p. 111. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Davenport, pages 153 –154
- Bayne, Julia Taft; DeCredico, Mary A (2001). Tad Lincoln's Father (First Bison Books ed.). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-6191-8. OCLC 248170310.
- Hutchinson, John M. (Winter 2009). "What Was Tad Lincoln's Speech Problem?". Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (University of Illinois Press) 30 (1). Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Randall, Ruth Painter (1955). Lincoln's Sons. Boston: Little, Brown. OCLC 9448054.
- Wead, Doug (2003). All The Presidents' Children. New York: Atria Books. ISBN 0-7434-4631-3. OCLC 51616758.
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