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Tad Lincoln's Father

Julia Taft Bayne

Publication Year: 2001

To others, he was the American President, one of the most powerful men in the world, presiding over one of the most horrific wars in history. But to Julia Taft, he was Tad Lincoln's father. Invited to the White House to watch over her two brothers, who were playmates of the Lincolns' sons, Julia had an intimate perspective on the First Family's home life, which she describes with charm and candor in this book. A rare look behind the public facade of the great man, Julia's affectionate account of the Lincolns at home is rich with examples of the humor and love that held the family together and that helped the President endure the pressures of governing a nation divided.
Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln often expressed their regret at not having a daughter of their own. Julia Taft thus enjoyed a special place in their lives, and her memoir reveals the warmth she elicited from the couple. She speaks of her initial fear of Lincoln—the towering, rough-and-tumble backwoodsman—who won her over with teasing, and of her relationship with Mary, who was never really accepted into Washington social life and took particular comfort in Julia's presence.
A unique glimpse into the social life of the Lincoln White House, Julia Taft Bayne's memoir shows us the human drama played out daily behind the great pageant of history.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press


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pp. vii

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pp. xi-xix

Abraham Lincoln remains one of this nation's most beloved and revered presidents. His elevation to iconic status came quickly after he was killed prematurely by John Wilkes Booth in April 1865. The man known variously as the Great Emancipator, the Savior of the Union, and Father Abraham did not live to see the end of the war that preserved the nation ...

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pp. xxi-xxii

To Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln of Springfield, Illinois, beginning in 1843, were born with becoming regularity four sons, one about every two years. All of them were welcomed and loved, for both Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln were fond of children. The boys had their own way with their father; and while their mother was sometimes disposed to chide ...

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pp. xxiii

The author wishes to make acknowledgment to the editors of The Atlantic Monthly, St. Nicholas, The Dearborn Independent and The New York World for permission to use in this book some material which originally appeared in their publications. Thanks are due Reed Taft Bayne for his assistance. ...

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Chapter 1

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pp. 1-5

One bright windy day in March, 1861, my two brothers and I were sent to the White House to play with the Lincoln boys. At my mother's first meeting with Mrs. Lincoln it came out that my two brothers were about the ages of Willie and Tad Lincoln. "Send them around to-morrow, please, Mrs. Taft," said Mrs. Lincoln. "Willie and Tad are so lonely and everything is so strange to them ...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 6-11

The Lincoln I knew and who lives in my memory with photographic distinctness has not the qualities of the Civil War President as presented in history. Mature study of his life has shown me that he was a heroic character, one of the great heroes of history. It is my lasting regret that my memory of him is not heroic. He was to me a good, uncle-like person, sometimes ...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 12-20

The President and Mrs. Lincoln attended the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, but it was not long before Willie and Tad formed the habit of going with us to the Fourth Presbyterian, of which Doctor J. C. Smith was pastor.Many in our church were in sympathy with the secessionists, and when Doctor Smith prayed for the President of the ...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 21-34

Before the Lincolns came to Washington I had attended Madame Smith's exclusive French school at Number 223 G. Street. It was a big, dark house said to have been the quarters of the Russian Embassy years before. There was a dark stain on the floor of our schoolroom, which had once been the banqueting hall of the Embassy, and it was whispered ...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 35-39

On April 19, the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment arrived, having fought their way through Baltimore, and how glad we were to see them! President Lincoln reviewed them from the portico of the White House. My brothers and I, with the Lincoln boys, watched the review from a White House window. ...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 40-46

Doctor Barnes, the surgeon of the Twenty-seventh New York, was an old friend of my father and well liked by all the family. As he saw I had a good deal of spare time, he said be would make me his "assistant surgeon." I was at first highly complimented by this imposing title and had visions of assisting him in complicated operations and being sent ...

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Chapter 7

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pp. 47-51

If there was any motto or slogan of the White House during the early years of the Lincolns' occupancy it was this: "Let the children have a good time." Often I have heard Mrs. Lincoln say this with a smile, as her two sons and my two brothers rushed tumultuously through the room, talking loudly of some plan for their amusement. ...

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Chapter 8

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pp. 52-59

The sixteenth of July was the grand advance "on to Richmond," and all day, to the music of many bands, the regiments marched through the streets and over the long bridge into Virginia. There were German regiments, not the goose-stepping type made famous by the World War, but of the great Frederick's tradition, and they sang the lively ...

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Chapter 9

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pp. 60-64

During the early days of the war there were constant rumors of spies in the capital. Following Bull Run the rumors became more pronounced. It was whispered that Confederate spies had obtained the exact plan of the battle and just when and where the attack was to be made, and in this way Beauregard was enabled to concentrate his widely scattered ...

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Chapter 10

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pp. 65-71

In the fall of 1861, Mrs. Lincoln had a desk and blackboard put into the end of the state dining room and secured a tutor for the boys. She asked my brothers to share his instruction as there were no schools open in Washington at this time. My father insisted on paying half the tutor's salary but Mrs. Lincoln said she had secured a place for him in one of ...

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Chapter 11

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pp. 72-76

My half-brother, of whom I have spoken, was surgeon in charge of the Judiciary Square Hospital. I went there often to read to the soldiers, write letters for them or play cards with them. I wanted to be a regular nurse but Miss Dix, who was head of the nurses, told me she never took any under thirty years of age. My brother would not have any women ...

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Chapter 12

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pp. 77-86

Saturday morning, at our house, was devoted to a study of the Sunday school lesson. Willie and Tad appeared early, as they always did, when Bud and Holly did not appear early at the White House. The Lincoln boys had enrolled themselves with my brothers in the Sunday-school of our church, the Fourth Presbyterian, and Mrs. Lincoln had expressed ...


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pp. 87-89

E-ISBN-13: 9780803202443
E-ISBN-10: 080320244X

Page Count: 89
Publication Year: 2001