Under His Hat | Discovering Lincoln's Story From Primary Sources
Home In The Classroom Partners & Sponsors Contact Us
Paying the Price: Custard Cup|Effigy Doll|Leather Gloves|Marble Square|Pearl Ring|US Capitol Building|Willie Photo & Lock of Hair
Willie Photo and  Lock of Hair Willie Photo and Lock of Hair In the 19th century a popular way to remember a loved one, living or departed, was to frame a lock of their hair. Mary Lincoln did so for their third son Willie, who died at age 11 in the White House on February 20, 1862. This photograph of him had been taken in Springfield in late 1860, and it remained a favorite of his parents. Mary tied a small lock of his hair and placed it under the glass of the gutta-percha case. Though she could not bear to go into Willie's bedroom after he died, Mary did keep this photo and memento of him for her whole life.

Willie Lincoln Photo and Lock of Hair Explore Willie's
Cameo in 360°

Did You Know? Willie Lincoln's photo w/lock of hair Willie was always the best student of the brothers. He seemed likely to become either a minister or a teacher. He published a poem in a Washington newspaper in 1861 about a soldier they knew who had been killed in battle.

Willie Photo and  Lock of HairWatch video: Dr. James Cornelius talks about Mary Lincoln's cameo portraits.
Listen to podcast:
Episode 1, Mary Lincoln's Cameo Portraits
We talk with our curator Dr. James Cornelius about the story behind the donation of a rare photo of Mr. Lincoln's son, Willie.