Lincoln Isham biography,Age and family

Mary Todd “Mamie” Lincoln Isham (October 15, 1869 – November 21, 1938) was a granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln, the first daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln and the mother of Lincoln Isham.

Mamie was born Mary Todd Lincoln to Mary Eunice Harlan and Robert Todd Lincoln at the Robert Lincoln home in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, she was called by the nickname of “Little Mamie”. Her father would often bring Mamie to visit his mother, Mary Todd Lincoln. It is believed that Robert addressed Mamie as Mary’s “favorite grandchild”. On one visit, Mary Lincoln gave her grandchild two very expensive dolls.Mamie and her siblings were described as “bright, natural, unpretentious children, well liked by the people of the town”. Mamie and her sister, Jessie, were piano students in the summer session of Iowa Wesleyan in 1886.

Mamie later became a member of the Mount Pleasant Chapter A of the P.E.O. Sisterhood one month before her birthday, on September 17, 1884. Her sister Jessie was later accepted by the same organization on December 31, 1895, more than 11 years later.

Personal life

Mamie Lincoln became engaged in London and then married Charles Bradford Isham, the son of merchant and banker William Bradley Isham, on September 2, 1891, and bought a place in Manchester, Vermont, known as the 1811 house. In 1892, she had her only child in New York City:

  • Lincoln Isham (1892–1971), who married Leahalma Correa (1892–1960), the daughter of the Spaniard Carlos Correa and the Englishwoman Mary Gooding in August 1919. They did not have any children together.

She lived the rest of her life in New York City including the address 19 East 72nd Street, where she was a choir mother of Grace Church on Broadway. On June 9, 1919, her husband died, leaving her a widow, but she continued to live in New York City for the next 19 years until she became gravely ill herself in 1938. She died in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on November 21, 1938, at around 10:05 a.m. at the age of 69. She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City.

At the time of her death, Isham was the owner of the Healy Portrait of Lincoln, which had been left to her by her mother. It was given to the White House collection when she died.

About the Lincoln Family

Robert Todd Lincoln’s eldest daughter, Mamie, married Charles Bradford Isham on September 2, 1891, a month before her 22nd birthday. The small private ceremony was held at the Church of the Holy Trinity near London, where the Lincolns were living while Robert served as U.S. Minister to the Court of St. James. The groom, a cousin of Robert’s Chicago law partner, was the librarian of the New-York Historical Society. The bride was described as “a pretty, petite girl of sweet and winning nature.”  Mamie’s formal wedding portrait shows her in her gown of “white satin with a long train trimmed with orange blossoms and lace veil.”


Someone in the family, possibly her sister Jessie, took this more informal Kodak photograph on Mamie’s wedding day.




Mamie and Charles Isham bought a home in Manchester, Vermont, near Robert Lincoln’s Hildene, but settled in New York City.  The Ishams had one son, whom they named Lincoln, born on June 8, 1892.  In this photograph, Mamie, wearing a dress with the extravagant puffed sleeves fashionable in the mid-1890s, posed with toddler Lincoln.




This photograph, taken a few years later, shows young Lincoln at his boyish best—eyes crossed and body ready to wiggle away from his mother’s grasp.



Lincoln Isham and his mother

A more sedate teen-aged Lincoln posed with his father* and his mothern in these photographs.

Young Lincoln was a frequent visitor to Hildene, and was even allowed to drive his grandfather Robert’s 1905 Thomas automobile—until he rolled it in a ditch.  He attended Harvard, but dropped out before finishing his degree.

On August 30, 1919, Lincoln married socialite Leahalma Correa and became stepfather to her daughter, Frances Mantley.  The couple had no other children and lived a very private life.  The family resided in New York City, close to the now widowed Mamie.  Lincoln and Lea left New York sometime after Mamie’s death in 1938, settling on a 22-acre farm near Dorset, Vermont, but traveling extensively in England and the Caribbean.  Lincoln** is said to have done secret work for the United States government during World War II.

Lincoln Isham

Lincoln Isham died in Dorset on September 1, 1971, age 79.  He left a $440,000 trust fund for his stepdaughter and gave his great-grandmother Mary Todd Lincoln’s White House china and coffee service to the Smithsonian, but left most of his sizable estate to the Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, and the Salvation Army.

1 Comment

  1. A lovely legacy but sad too. Too bad Lincoln Isham never had his own children but he was very generous to his step daughter.

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