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Notes for Robert Todd "Bob" Lincoln:
Senator James Harlan is quoted by Katherine Helm:
"The oldest, Robert Todd Lincoln ["a few days before the inauguration"], was a youth of seventeen or eighteen years; well developed physically, a strong, healthy, resolute, sensible-looking fellow; without the slightest appearance of ostentation or family pride on account of his father's election to the Presidency."
Notes for Mary Eunice Harlan:
"Mary Eunice Harlan attended Iowa Wesleyan University preparatory department for most of the years between 1854 and 1863 and was enrolled in the university course 1862-1863. (Iowa Wesleyan University Catalogs 1854-1863)
After marrying, she "moved to Chicago where her husband had established his law firm. ("Robert Todd Lincoln" in "Dictionary of American Biography") Because of easy railroad transportation from Chicago, she often visited her parents in Mount Pleasant. These visits became more frequent when Senator Harlan retired after 1873 into his new home, north of the Iowa Wesleyan University campus. [paragraph] In the late 1870s and through the 1880s, Mrs. Robert T. Lincoln used her father's home in Mount Pleasant as a summer residence for herself and her three children. Robert T. Lincoln spent occasional Sundays with the family. (footnote: "The Mount Pleasant Journal," 43 dates cited between Nov. 20, 1872 and April 11, 1889)Mrs. James Harlan died in 1884; thus Mrs. RTL had additional reason for spending time with her father, and her three children . . . lived many months each year in Mount Pleasant and entered into the life of the community."
The summer following Jack's death on March 5, 1890, "[t]he family was stricken with grief and a desire to avoid London was soon evident." Mrs. RTL "returned to Mount Pleasant with Mary and Jessie and spent the next fall and winter there. RTL arrived for a shorter stay in November, 1890. During the academic year of 1890-1891, Jessie Harlan Lincoln was enrolled in the junior class of the preparatory department of Iowa Wesleyan University and as a voice student in the Iowa Wesleyan Conservatory of Music. In March 1891, Mrs. Lincoln, with Mary and Jessie, returned to London. . . . RTL's term of appt as American Minister extended to 1893, but Mrs. L and her daughters did not remain in England for that length of time. . . . At this time [June 8, 1892, Lincoln Isham's birth] or shortly afterwards, Mrs. RTL and Jessie were in the U.S., for by June 23, 1892, they were residing in Mt. Pleasant. Jessie L again enrolled in the prep dept of IW for part of the academic year 1892-93. In Oct 1892, Mrs. Charles Isham with her son and a nurse arrived in Mt Pl and remained there for a family visit until Nov. 17. Mrs. RTL and Jessie stayed in Mt Pl until the end of Nov 1892. They spent the rest of the winter, the spring and the summer in Chicago and NYC but came back to Mt Pl in Oct 1893 for the next winter. [para.] When RTL returned to U.S., Mrs L and Jessie moved to the Chicago home, but made occasional visits to MP and to the east coast in the spring and summer of 1894. Jessie L(pp. 416-417, "Jessie Harlan Lincoln in Iowa," by Dr. Louis A. Haselmayer, Annals of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, Fall 1968)
"Except for the obvious hold she kept on her daughters, not much is known about Mary Harlan Lincoln. She was so reclusive that Robert seemed always to be making excuses for her and declining invitations. Her withdrawal was so complete, in fact, that a recent biographer of Mary Todd Lincoln has accused her daughter-in-law of alcoholism (Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln).One is tempted to paraphrase the old joke about General Grant's drinking and prescribe a barrel of whatever Mary Harlan drank--because she lived to be ninety years old!
"A more plausible explanation of Mary Harlan Lincoln's close confinement to home, besides the customary reticence of Abraham Lincoln's heirs, was neurasthenia, a vague psychosomatic illness suffered by many upper-class women of her generation. One refuge from this paralyzing malady might have been religion, and Mary Harlan Lincoln embraced a religion almost tailored for neurasthenic women and other chronic sufferers: Christian Science. Perhaps by denying the existence of her illness as she grew in spiritual strength, Mary Harlan Lincoln overcame her suffering. No one will ever know, but Christian Science did leave a lasting impression, for one third of the sizable estate left by her children went to the Christian Science Church." (pp. 34-35, The Lincoln Family Album)
She "was apparently a Republican, as the New York Times reported her application for membership in the Wendell Willkie Club in 1940." (p. 37, The Lincoln Family Album)
Left a 3.3M estate."She was a devout Christian Scientist and left much of her fortune to the Christian Science Church.This foreshadowed her granddaughter's gift of Hildene itself to the same church 38 years later."
Marriage Notes for Robert Lincoln and Mary Harlan:
"No cards of invitation were issued, and the wedding party consisted simply of a few personal friends of the two families." (p. 238, "James Harlan")