L> Robert Todd Lincoln at Harvard College
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Hollis Hall© Abraham Lincoln Online
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Stoughton Hall© Abraham Lincoln Online

Robert Todd Lincoln at Harvard College

In 1859 when Abraham and also Mary Lincoln"s eldest son arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he to be surprised and also disappointed. Robert Todd Lincoln hope to be admitted come Harvard College however failed every the entrance examinations. To correct this, he spent a year at Phillips Exeter Academy, the well known college prep institution in surrounding Exeter, new Hampshire.There is no record of what his father told him in ~ the time, yet one year later Robert started classes at Harvard. A note of his father"s thinking exists in a letter to Robert"s friend George Latham, who likewise failed the examinations in 1860. Abraham Lincoln wrote, "It is a details truth, that you can enter, and graduate in, Harvard University; and having make the attempt, you need to succeed in it." Abraham Lincoln, that had small formal education, evidently want a various experience for his son. In one 1860 campaign autobiography, he wrote in the third person, "Abraham currently thinks the the accumulation of all his schooling did no amount to one year. The was never ever in a university or academy as a student, and never within of a university or academy building till because he had actually a legislation license. What he has actually in the method of education and learning he has actually picked up. After he to be twenty-three and had separated indigenous his father, he learned English grammar--imperfectly, of course, but so regarding speak and write as well as he now does. He learned and nearly mastered the six books of Euclid because he was a member that Congress. The regrets his desire of education, and also does what he deserve to to supply the want."The President"s son on Campus
When Robert returned to Cambridge in the fall of 1860, the college student body was mainly Republican and his father to be the Republican candidate because that President. After his father won the election, a November 16 brand-new York time article detailed that Robert had "within the previous week, get an impression vastly in popularity through his fellow students and the townspeople generally. On Wednesday night, in a body, the students dubbed upon him, congratulated that upon the success the his father and also the jolly state of to work in the nation generally."Students from southerly states, however, did not have such a sanguine watch of the election, and also most left the school throughout the winter holidays of 1860-61. Robert supplied his winter rest to go back to Springfield, Illinois, wherein he joined his dad on the inaugural journey to Washington.Robert studied the standard curriculum that his time, together there were no college "majors" then, taking classes in botany, chemistry, composition, declamations, elocution, forensics, Greek, history, mathematics, philosophy, physics, politics economy, religion, rhetoric, and themes. As an upperclassman he was allowed a couple of electives, and he chose French and Italian. Years later on he recalled James Russell Lowell, one of his teachers: "when currently I take up my Dante, Mr. Lowell appears to be through me." In his Class book of 1864, he observed, "My life in College has actually been really pleasant and has had actually no interruptions. I have studied sufficient to satisfy myself without being a "dig.""For three years, Robert lived on campus in buildings which still serve as dormitories. He invested his sophomore and junior year in Room 22 of Stoughton Hall, called for wilhelm Stoughton, class of 1650. In 1698 Stoughton became the first person to offer a building to an American college. In 1805 that structure was changed by one design by Charles Bulfinch, the commemorated Boston architect. Robert participated in Hasty Pudding club theatricals which to be performed ~ above the top floor that Stoughton. He served the club as vice president during the an initial term that his senior year. His storage of the society must have been pleasant, since he preserved a photo of himself and other members at Hildene, his summer house in Vermont.Stoughton had actually the difference of being partly funded through a state lottery. After the Revolutionary War, the cultivation student human body necessitated additional housing. In 1793 the university board obtained permission to raise monies because that a brand-new dormitory v a lottery, the second time the college used this fund-raising method to carry out building revenue.During his senior year, Robert resided in Room 25 of Hollis Hall, a companion building next come Stoughton Hall. Although the two brick dormitories show up to it is in identical, a close research reveals your architectural differences. Hollis was devoted on January 13, 1764, around 100 years before Robert moved in. That honors cutting board Hollis of London, component of a household which supported the university for many years. Throughout the Revolutionary war it housed colonial troops in 1775-76.President Lincoln, took in by the hefty demands the his position, did not visit his child at Harvard; instead, Robert witnessed his family during school vacations in Washington and also other locations. His mommy visited the in Boston double in 1861, coming in May and also November. In 1862 Robert was referred to as from his studies to the bedside that his younger brothers William, who died in the White residence on February 20. A few days later, Harvard chairman Cornelius Felton died, and also was succeeded by cutting board Hill.After GraduationRobert to be graduated with the course of 1864 however as he listed in a July 18 letter, "The President will not be in ~ Commencement." The July 20 festivities included the principal attend to given through Edward Everett. He to be a previous president of Harvard and had given the main speech in ~ the Gettysburg cemetery dedication the vault year. He famously complimented chairman Lincoln ~ above his remarks, now known as the Gettysburg Address. After ~ a vacation, Robert returned to campus in September to to visit Harvard law School, complying with in his father"s vocation. The school was not very regarded at the time (it was referred to as "a disgrace come the commonwealth of Massachusetts" by the American legislation Review in 1870), and also it is not well-known if its viewed shortcomings affected Robert"s decision to drop out. Throughout his short stay, Robert argued moot court cases with students like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the thrice-wounded Civil battle veteran and future U.S. Can be fried Court jurist.Robert left law school after his first semester and also joined the staff of basic Ulysses approve as a captain. When in college, he was under public press to go into the Union Army, yet apparently likewise had a genuine desire to enlist. His Aunt Emilie recalled overhearing his mother tell president Lincoln, "I know that Robert"s plea to get in the army is manly and also noble and also I want him to go, but oh! ns am therefore frightened he may never come earlier to us!"On January 19, 1865, chairman Lincoln composed to Grant, asking him to discover a safe employee appointment because that Robert: "My son, now in his twenty-second year, having actually graduated in ~ Harvard, desire to watch something that the war before it ends. I carry out not great to placed him in the ranks, nor yet to give him a commission, come which those who have already served long, are far better entitled, and far better qualified come hold." Harvard and also the civil WarArtemus Ward, one of President Lincoln"s favourite humorous writers, asserted that throughout the war Harvard was "located in ~ the Parker residence bar," referring to a well-known Boston hotel. The school"s seeming absence of authorized in the problem was provided by Samuel Eliot Morison, who wrote, "College life go on much as usual, and also with scarcely diminished attendance. Publicly opinion in the phibìc did not require students to take it up arms, as in the civilization War; there was no massive movement right into the army or navy, and also draftees that hired a instead of were not despised."However, more than 1,500 Harvard students and also alumni enlisted in military service: 1,311 with the Union forces and also 257 with the Confederate. If there had been family member indifference to the war, it quickly disappeared after tranquility came in 1865. In simply three years, alumni elevated $370,000 -- an substantial sum for the times -- come memorialize the 136 Harvard males who passed away in the Union cause. Robert was among the contributors come the structure in 1866.By 1870 the cornerstone to be laid because that an impressive Memorial hall building, wherein the name of the fallen appear in the memorial transcept. Among them are few of Robert"s classmates and also Paul Revere"s grandson, who passed away at Gettysburg top top July 4, 1863. A portrait of president Lincoln hangs on the phibìc wall. Unlike general Grant the was no awarded an honorary degree from the college.


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Robert, however, obtained an L.L.D. Top top June 23, 1893.
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