William Wallace Lincoln, 11-year-old son of Abraham and Mary, died at the White House on February 20, 1862. He apparently died of Typhus, contracted by contaminated water. Elizabeth Keckly, the former slave who designed Mrs. Lincoln's beautiful wardrobe, washed and dressed him. When the President gazed at him, he mourned, "My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home..."
"Willie" was named after Mary Todd's brother-in-law, Dr. William Wallace. He was a handsome, smart, serious and thoughtful child who was the favorite of Mary Todd Lincoln and her husband. Her cousin, Elizabeth Todd Grimsley, described Willie as a "noble, beautiful boy of nine years, of great mental activity, unusual intelligence, wonderful memory, methodical, frank and loving, a counterpart of his father, save that he was handsome."
In June of 1859 Willie went to Chicago with his father who had legal business in that city. Father and son stayed in the Tremont House. Willie wrote a letter to his friend, Henry Remann, about his wonderful experience.
William Wallace Lincoln ("Willie") was born on December 21, 1850. He was the third son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Willie was named after Dr. William Wallace who had married Frances, one of Mary's sisters. Willie was more like his dad than older brother Robert; he had the same magnetic personality of Abraham Lincoln.
William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln (December 21, 1850 – February 20, 1862) was the third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He died at the age of 11, most likely caused by Typhoid Fever. Both parents were deeply affected. His father did not return to work for three weeks. Willie's younger brother, Tad, cried for nearly a month because he and Willie were very close. Lincoln generated no official correspondence for four days. Mary was so distraught that Lincoln feared for her sanity.