Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865; the amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption, it was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Since the American Revolution, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery. Slavery was implicitly permitted in the original Constitution through provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, which detailed how each slave state's enslaved population would be factored into its total population count for the purposes of apportioning seats in the United States House of Representatives and direct taxes among the states. Though many slaves had been declared free by President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their post-war status was uncertain.
On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865; the measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Northern states, along with a sufficient number of border states up to the death of Lincoln, but approval came with President Andrew Johnson, who encouraged the "reconstructed" Southern states of Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia to agree, which brought the count to 27 states, caused it to be adopted before the end of 1865. Though the amendment formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, factors such as Black Codes, white supremacist violence, selective enforcement of statutes continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was cited in case law, but has been used to strike down peonage and some race-based discrimination as "badges and incidents of slavery."
The Thirteenth Amendment applies to the actions of private citizens, while the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments apply only to state actors. The Thirteenth Amendment enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery. Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Slavery existed in all of the original thirteen British North American colonies. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, the United States Constitution did not expressly use the words slave or slavery but included several provisions about unfree persons; the Three-Fifths Compromise, Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons".
This clause was a compromise between Southerners who wished slaves to be counted as'persons' for congressional representation and northerners rejecting these out of concern of too much power for the South, because representation in the new Congress would be based on population in contrast to the one-vote-for-one-state principle in the earlier Continental Congress. Under the Fugitive Slave Clause, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, "No person held to Service or Labour in one State" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 allowed Congress to pass legislation outlawing the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis in Dred Scott v. Sandford for treating slaves as property.
Stimulated by the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence, between 1777 and 1804 every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. Most of the slaves involved were household servants. No Southern state did so, the slave population of the South continued to grow, peaking at 4 million people in 1861. An abolitionist movement headed by such figures as William Lloyd Garrison grew in strength in the North, calling for the end of slavery nationwide and exacerbating tensions between North and South; the American Colonization Society, an alliance between abolitionists who felt the races should be kept separated and slaveholders who feared the presence of freed blacks would encourage slave rebellions, called for the emigration and colonization of both free blacks and slaves to Africa. Its views were endorsed by politicians such as Henry Clay, who feared that the main abolitionist movement would provoke a civil war. Proposals to eliminate slavery by constitutional amendment were introduced by Representative Arthur Livermore in 1818 and by John Quincy Adams in 1839, but failed to gain significant traction.
As the country continued to expand, the issue of slavery in its new territories became the dominant national issue. The Southern position was that slaves were property and therefore could be moved to the territories like all other forms of property; the 1820 Missouri Compromise provided for the admission of Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the Senate's equality between the regions. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso was introduced to a war appropriations bill to ban slavery in all territories acquired in the Mexican–Ameri
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed to the fourth Thursday in November, an innovation that endures to this day. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall–winter holiday season in the U. S; the event that Americans call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621.
This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow—it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Setting aside time to give thanks for one's blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America; the first documented thanksgiving services in territory belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards and the French in the 16th century. Wisdom practices such as expressing gratitude and giving away, are integral to many indigenous cultures and communities.. Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610. In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia.
The group's London Company charter required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." Three years after the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned and colonists moved their celebration to Jamestown and other more secure spots. The most prominent historic thanksgiving event in American popular culture is the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in years, first as an impromptu religious observance and as a civil tradition; the Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, had settled in land abandoned when all but one of the Patuxet Indians died in a plague. After a harsh winter killed half of the Plymouth settlers, the last surviving Patuxet, came in at the request of Samoset, the first native American to encounter the Pilgrims.
Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them until he too succumbed to plague a year later. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit gave food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient; the Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, the Plimoth Plantation vice president of research, stated in 1996, "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, with the most time being around Michaelmas, the traditional time." Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a Thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. It included 50 people who were on 90 Native Americans; the feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World, along with young daughters and male and female servants. Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast in Plymouth; the Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists, are not to be confused with Puritans, who established their own Massachusetts Bay Colony on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630.
Both groups were strict Calvinists. Puritans wished to remain in the Anglican Church and reform it, while the Pilgrims wanted complete separation from the church. William Bradford, in Of Plymouth Plantation wrote: They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want, and besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports. Edward Winslow, in Mourt's Relation wrote: Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a specia
The Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain called a homestead. In all, more than 160 million acres of public land, or nearly 10 percent of the total area of the United States, was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders. An extension of the homestead principle in law, the Homestead Acts were an expression of the Free Soil policy of Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms, as opposed to Southern slave-owners who wanted to buy up large tracts of land and use slave labor, thereby shutting out free white farmers; the first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the Federal government of the United States could apply. Women and immigrants who had applied for citizenship were eligible; the 1866 Act explicitly included black Americans and encouraged them to participate, but rampant discrimination slowed black gains.
Historian Michael Lanza argues that while the 1866 law pack was not as beneficial as it might have been, it was part of the reason that by 1900 one fourth of all Southern black farmers owned their own farms. Several additional laws were enacted in the latter half of the early 20th centuries; the Southern Homestead Act of 1866 sought to address land ownership inequalities in the south during Reconstruction. The Timber Culture Act of 1873 granted land to a claimant, required to plant trees—the tract could be added to an existing homestead claim and had no residency requirement; the Kinkaid Amendment of 1904 granted a full section—640 acres –to new homesteaders settling in western Nebraska. An amendment to the Homestead Act of 1862, the Enlarged Homestead Act, was passed in 1909 and doubled the allotted acreage from 160 to 320 acres. Another amended act, the national Stock-Raising Homestead Act, was passed in 1916 and again increased the land involved, this time to 640 acres. Land-grant laws similar to the Homestead Acts had been proposed by northern Republicans before the Civil War, but had been blocked in Congress by southern Democrats who wanted western lands open for purchase by slave-owners.
The Homestead Act of 1860 did pass in Congress, but it was vetoed by President James Buchanan, a Democrat. After the Southern states seceded from the Union in 1861, the bill passed and was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Freeman became the first person to file a claim under the new act. Between 1862 and 1934, the federal government granted 1.6 million homesteads and distributed 270,000,000 acres of federal land for private ownership. This was a total of 10% of all land in the United States. Homesteading was discontinued in 1976, except in Alaska, where it continued until 1986. About 40% of the applicants who started the process were able to complete it and obtain title to their homesteaded land after paying a small fee in cash; the Donation Land Claim Act allowed settlers to claim land in the Oregon Territory including the modern states of Washington, Oregon and parts of Wyoming. Settlers were able to claim 320 or 640 acres of land for free between 1850 and 1854, at a cost of $1.25 per acres until the law expired in 1855.
The "yeoman farmer" ideal of Jeffersonian democracy was still a powerful influence in American politics during the 1840–1850s, with many politicians believing a homestead act would help increase the number of "virtuous yeomen". The Free Soil Party of 1848–52, the new Republican Party after 1854, demanded that the new lands opening up in the west be made available to independent farmers, rather than wealthy planters who would develop it with the use of slaves forcing the yeomen farmers onto marginal lands. Southern Democrats had continually fought previous homestead law proposals, as they feared free land would attract European immigrants and poor Southern whites to the west. After the South seceded and their delegates left Congress in 1861, the Republicans and other supporters from the upper South passed a homestead act; the intent of the first Homestead Act, passed in 1862, was to liberalize the homesteading requirements of the Preemption Act of 1841. Its leading advocates were George Henry Evans and Horace Greeley.
The homestead was an area of public land in the West granted to any US citizen willing to settle on and farm the land. The law required a three-step procedure: file an application, improve the land, file for the patent. Any citizen who had never taken up arms against the U. S. government and was at least 21 years old or the head of a household, could file an application to claim a federal land grant. Women were eligible; the occupant had to reside on the land for five years, show evidence of having made improvements. The process had to be complete within seven years. Enacted to allow poor tenant farmers and sharecroppers in the south become land owners in the southern United States during Reconstruction, it was not successful, as the low prices and fees were too much for the applicants to afford. The Timber Culture Act granted up to 160 acres of land to a homesteader who would plant at least 40 acres of trees over a period of several years; this quarter-section could be added to an existing homestead claim, offering a total of 320 acres to a settler.
This offered a cheap plot of land to homesteaders. Recognizing that the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska, required
Find a Grave
Find A Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Ancestry.com. It receives and uploads digital photographs of headstones from burial sites, taken by unpaid volunteers at cemeteries. Find A Grave posts the photo on its website; the site was created in 1995 by Salt Lake City resident Jim Tipton to support his hobby of visiting the burial sites of famous celebrities. He added an online forum. Find A Grave was launched as a commercial entity in 1998, first as a trade name and incorporated in 2000; the site expanded to include graves of non-celebrities, in order to allow online visitors to pay respect to their deceased relatives or friends. In 2013, Tipton sold Find A Grave to Ancestry.com, saying that the genealogy company had "been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history." In a September 30, 2013, press release, Ancestry.com officials said they would "launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, other site improvements."As of October 2017, Find A Grave contained over 165 million burial records and 75 million photos.
In March 2017, a beta website for a redesigned Find A Grave was launched at gravestage.com. Public feedback was mixed. Sometime between May 29 and July 10 of that year, the beta website was migrated to new.findagrave.com, a new front end for it was deployed at beta.findagrave.com. In November 2017, the new site became the old site was deprecated. On August 20, 2018, the original Find; the website contains listings of graves from around the world. American cemeteries are organized by state and county, many cemetery records contain Google Maps and photographs of the cemeteries and gravesites. Individual grave records may contain dates and places of birth and death, biographical information and plot information and contributor information. Interment listings are added by individuals, genealogical societies, other institutions such as the International Wargraves Photography Project. Contributors must register as members to submit listings, called memorials, on the site; the submitter may transfer management.
Only the current manager of a listing may edit it, although any member may use the site's features to send correction requests to the listing's manager. Managers may add links to other listings of deceased spouses and siblings for genealogical purposes. Any member may add photographs and notations to individual listings. Members may post requests for photos of a specific grave. Although it does not ask permission from immediate family members before uploading the photos, it will remove and take down photos or a URL for a deceased loved one at the request of an immediate family member. Find A Grave maintains lists of memorials of famous persons by their "claim to fame", such as Medal of Honor recipients, religious figures, educators. Find A Grave exercises editorial control over these listings. Canadian Headstones Interment.net United States National Cemetery System's nationwide gravesite locator Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Tombstone tourist Official website
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act (1863)
The Habeas Corpus Suspension, 12 Stat. 755, entitled An Act relating to Habeas Corpus, regulating Judicial Proceedings in Certain Cases, was an Act of Congress that authorized the president of the United States to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in response to the American Civil War and provided for the release of political prisoners. It began in the House of Representatives as an indemnity bill, introduced on December 5, 1862, releasing the president and his subordinates from any liability for having suspended habeas corpus without congressional approval; the Senate amended the House's bill, the compromise reported out of the conference committee altered it to qualify the indemnity and to suspend habeas corpus on Congress's own authority. Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law on March 3, 1863, suspended habeas corpus under the authority it granted him six months later; the suspension was lifted with the issuance of Proclamation 148 by Andrew Johnson, the Act became inoperative with the end of the Civil War.
The exceptions to his Proclamation 148 were the States of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, the District of Columbia, the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. At the outbreak of the American Civil War in April 1861, Washington, D. C. was undefended, rioters in Baltimore, Maryland threatened to disrupt the reinforcement of the capital by rail, Congress was not in session. The military situation made it dangerous to call Congress into session. Abraham Lincoln, the president of the United States, therefore authorized his military commanders to suspend the writ of habeas corpus between Washington, D. C. and Philadelphia. Numerous individuals were arrested, including John Merryman and a number of Baltimore police commissioners; when Judge William Fell Giles of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued a writ of habeas corpus, the commander of Fort McHenry, Major W. W. Morris, wrote in reply, "At the date of issuing your writ, for two weeks previous, the city in which you live, where your court has been held, was under the control of revolutionary authorities."Merryman's lawyers appealed, in early June 1861, U.
S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, writing as the United States Circuit Court for Maryland, ruled in ex parte Merryman that Article I, section 9 of the United States Constitution reserves to Congress the power to suspend habeas corpus and thus that the president's suspension was invalid; the rest of the Supreme Court had nothing to do with Merryman, the other two Justices from the South, John Catron and James Moore Wayne acted as Unionists. The President's advisers said it was ignored; when Congress was called into special session, July 4, 1861, President Lincoln issued a message to both houses defending his various actions, including the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, arguing that it was both necessary and constitutional for him to have suspended it without Congress. Early in the session, Senator Henry Wilson introduced a joint resolution "to approve and confirm certain acts of the President of the United States, for suppressing insurrection and rebellion", including the suspension of habeas corpus.
Senator Lyman Trumbull, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, had reservations about its imprecise wording, so the resolution opposed by anti-war Democrats, was never brought to a vote. On July 17, 1861, Trumbull introduced a bill to suppress insurrection and sedition which included a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus upon Congress's authority; that bill was not brought to a vote before Congress ended its first session on August 6, 1861 due to obstruction by Democrats, on July 11, 1862, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary recommended that it not be passed during the second session, but its proposed habeas corpus suspension section formed the basis of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act. In September 1861 the arrests continued, including a sitting member of Congress from Maryland, Henry May, along with one third of the Maryland General Assembly, Lincoln expanded the zone within which the writ was suspended; when Lincoln's dismissal of Justice Taney's ruling was criticized in an editorial that month by a prominent Baltimore newspaper editor Frank Key Howard, Francis Scott Key's grandson and Justice Taney's grand-nephew by marriage, he was himself arrested by federal troops without trial.
He was imprisoned in Fort McHenry, which, as he noted, was the same fort where the Star Spangled Banner had been waving "o'er the land of the free" in his grandfather's song. In early 1862 Lincoln took a step back from the suspension of habeas corpus controversy. On February 14, he ordered all political prisoners released, with some exceptions and offered them amnesty for past treason or disloyalty, so long as they did not aid the Confederacy. In March 1862 Congressman Henry May, released in December 1861, introduced a bill requiring the federal government to either indict by grand jury or release all other "political prisoners" still held without habeas corpus. May's bill passed the House in summer 1862, it would be included in the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, which would require actual indictments for suspected traitors. Seven months faced with opposition to his calling up of th
The Bixby letter is a brief, consoling message sent by President Abraham Lincoln in November 1864 to Lydia Parker Bixby, a widow living in Boston, thought to have lost five sons in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Along with the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, the letter has been praised as one of Lincoln's finest written works and is reproduced in memorials and print. Controversy surrounds the recipient, the fate of her sons, the authorship of the letter. Bixby's character has been questioned, at least two of her sons survived the war, the letter was written by Lincoln's assistant private secretary, John Hay. President Lincoln's letter of condolence was delivered to Lydia Bixby on November 25, 1864 and was printed in the Boston Evening Transcript and Boston Evening Traveller that afternoon; the following is the text of the letter as first published: Executive Mansion, Nov. 21, 1864. Dear Madam, I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. Yours sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln. Mrs. Bixby. Lydia Parker married shoemaker Cromwell Bixby on September 26, 1826, in Massachusetts; the couple had at least six sons and three daughters before Cromwell's death in 1854. Some time before the Civil War and her family settled in Boston. On September 24, 1864, Massachusetts Adjutant General William Schouler wrote to Massachusetts Governor John Albion Andrew about a discharge request sent to the governor by Otis Newhall, the father of five Union soldiers.
In the letter, Schouler recalled how, two years prior, they had helped a poor widow named Lydia Bixby to visit a son, a patient at an Army hospital. About ten days earlier, Bixby had come to Schouler's office claiming that five of her sons had died fighting for the Union. Governor Andrew forwarded Newhall's request to the U. S. War Department with a note requesting that the president honor Bixby with a letter. In response to a War Department request of October 1, Schouler sent a messenger to Bixby's home six days asking for the names and units of her sons, he sent a report to the War Department on October 12, delivered to President Lincoln by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton sometime after October 28. On November 21, both the Boston Evening Traveller and the Boston Evening Transcript published an appeal by Schouler for contributions to assist soldiers' families at Thanksgiving which mentioned a widow who had lost five sons in the war. Schouler had some of the donations given to Bixby and visited her home on Thanksgiving, November 24.
The letter from the President arrived at Schouler's office the next morning. At least two of Lydia Bixby's sons survived the war: Private Arthur Edward Bixby – Company C, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Deserted from Ft. Richardson, Virginia on May 28, 1862. Trying to secure a discharge for him, his mother filed an affidavit on October 17, 1862 which claimed Edward had enlisted underage without her permission. Born July 13, 1843 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Returned to Boston after the war. Sergeant Charles N. Bixby – Company D, 20th Massachusetts Infantry. Killed in action near Fredericksburg. Born c.1841 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Corporal Henry Cromwell Bixby – 1st enlistment, Company G, 20th Massachusetts Infantry. 2nd enlistment, Company K, 32nd Massachusetts Infantry. Captured at Gettysburg and sent to Richmond, Virginia. Paroled on March 7, 1864 at City Point, Virginia. Born March 30, 1830 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Died November 8, 1871 in Milford, from tuberculosis he contracted while a soldier.
Private Oliver Cromwell Bixby, Jr. – Company E, 58th Massachusetts Infantry. Wounded at Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864. Killed in action near Petersburg, Virginia. Born February 1, 1828 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Private George Way Bixby – Company B, 56th Massachusetts Infantry. Enlisted under the name "George Way," to conceal his enlistment from his wife. Captured at Petersburg on July 30, 1864. First held prisoner at Richmond but transferred to Salisbury Prison in North Carolina, arriving there on October 9, 1864, his fate after that remains uncertain. Military records report conflicting accounts of him either dying at Salisbury or deserting to the Confederate Army. Born June 22, 1836 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Schouler's report to the War Department erroneously listed Edward as a member of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry who had died of his wounds at Folly Island, South Carolina. Bixby may have been trying to conceal—possibly from embarrassment or hope of further financial aid—Edward's 1862 desertion.
At the time of her September meeting with Schouler, Bixby's son George had been a prisoner of war for just over a month, Henry was still hospitalized following his exchange. The War Department failed to use its own records to correct er
Robert Todd Lincoln
Robert Todd Lincoln was an American politician and businessman. Lincoln was the first son of Mary Todd Lincoln, he was born in Springfield and graduated from Harvard College before serving on the staff of Ulysses S. Grant as a captain in the Union Army in the closing days of the American Civil War. After the war Lincoln married Mary Eunice Harlan, they had three children together. Following completion of law school in Chicago, he built a successful law practice, became wealthy representing corporate clients. Active in Republican politics, a tangible symbol of his father's legacy, Robert Lincoln was spoken of as a possible candidate for office, including the presidency, but never took steps to mount a campaign; the one office to which he was elected was town supervisor of South Chicago, which he held from 1876 to 1877. Lincoln accepted appointments as secretary of war in the administration of James A. Garfield, continuing under Chester A. Arthur, as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom in the Benjamin Harrison administration.
Lincoln served as general counsel of the Pullman Palace Car Company, after founder George Pullman died in 1897, Lincoln became the company's president. After retiring from this position in 1911, Lincoln served as chairman of the board until 1922. In Lincoln's years he resided at homes in Washington, D. C. and Manchester, Vermont. In 1922, he took part in the dedication ceremonies for the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln died at Hildene on July 26, 1926, six days before his 83rd birthday, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Robert Lincoln was born in Springfield, Illinois, on August 1, 1843, to Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, he had three younger brothers, Edward Baker Lincoln, William Wallace Lincoln, Thomas "Tad" Lincoln. By the time Lincoln was born, his father had become a well-known member of the Whig political party and had served as a member of the state legislature for four terms. Robert Lincoln was named after his maternal grandfather. By the time his father became president of the United States, Lincoln was the only one of the president's three children to be on his own.
He took the Harvard College entrance examination in 1859, but failed fifteen out of the sixteen subjects. He was enrolled at Phillips Exeter Academy to further prepare for attending college, he graduated in 1860. Admitted to Harvard College, he graduated in 1864, was a member of the Hasty Pudding Club and the Delta Kappa Epsilon. Morris states after gaining admission to Harvard, Robert Lincoln emerged from college an "unsympathetic bore."After graduating from Harvard, Lincoln enrolled at Harvard Law School. When he expressed interest in the law school to his father, President Lincoln made reference to his own pleasant, but informal legal training by stating "If you do, you should learn more than I did, but you will never have so good a time." Robert Lincoln attended Harvard Law School from September 1864 to January 1865, left in order to join the Union Army. In 1893, Harvard awarded Lincoln the honorary degree of LL. D. Much to the embarrassment of the president, Mary Todd Lincoln prevented Robert Lincoln from joining the Army until shortly before the war's conclusion.
"We have lost one son, his loss is as much as I can bear, without being called upon to make another sacrifice," Mary Todd Lincoln insisted to President Lincoln. President Lincoln argued "our son is not more dear to us than the sons of other people are to their mothers." However, Mary Todd Lincoln persisted by stating that she could not "bear to have Robert exposed to danger." In January 1865, the First Lady yielded and President Lincoln wrote Ulysses S. Grant, asking if Robert could be placed on his staff. On February 11, 1865, he was commissioned as an assistant adjutant with the rank of captain and served in the last weeks of the American Civil War as part of General Ulysses S. Grant's immediate staff, a position which reduced the likelihood that he would be involved in actual combat, he was present at Appomattox. He resigned his commission on June 12, 1865, returned to civilian life. Lincoln had a distant relationship with his father, in part because, during his formative years, Abraham Lincoln spent months on the judicial circuit.
Their relationship was similar to the one Abraham Lincoln had with his own father. Lincoln recalled, "During my childhood and early youth he was constantly away from home, attending court or making political speeches." Robert would say his most vivid image of his father was of packing saddlebags to prepare for his travels through Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was proud of Robert and thought him bright, but something of a competitor. An acquaintance purportedly said, "he guessed Bob would not do better than he had." The two lacked the strong bond Lincoln had with his other sons Willie and Tad, but Robert admired his father and wept at his deathbed. On the night of his father's death, Robert had turned down an invitation to accompany his parents to Ford's Theatre, citing fatigue after spending much of his recent time in a covered wagon at the battlefront. On April 25, 1865, Robert Lincoln wrote President Andrew Johnson requesting that he and his family be allowed to stay for two and a half weeks because his mother had told him that "she can not be ready to leave here."
Lincoln acknowledged that he was aware of the "great inconvenience" that Johnson had since becoming president of the United States only a short time earlier. Foll