Thursday, February 6, 2014

Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert, is Connected to Three Presidential Assassinations

By Bette Lou Higgins

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert, is connected to three presidential assassinations?

Obviously, he was at the White House when his father was shot. He was Secretary of War for President Garfield and was an eyewitness to the shooting by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. Then he was at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, when President McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz on September 6, 1901. Luckily, he was not an eyewitness to that event!

As if all that isn’t strange enough, Robert was once saved by the famous actor Edwin Booth, brother of his father’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Though the exact date is uncertain, apparently it was sometime in late 1863/64 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Robert was on a train platform while a group of passengers were purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor with a narrow space between the platform and the car body. In the crowd, Robert was pressed against the car body while waiting his turn. The train began to move and he was twisted off his feet. He dropped with feet downward, into the open space. Hanging there helpless, Robert felt someone grab his coat collar and vigorously pull him up and out to to the platform. When he turned to thank his rescuer, he recognized the famous actor. However, Booth didn’t know whose life he had saved until months later when a friend happened to send him a letter to complimenting him for his heroism. Apparently, the discovery of his involvement in saving the president’s son’s life gave him some comfort after his brother had taken the life of Robert’s father.


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