19235 - Willie and Tad Lincoln with cousin Lockwood - 1861
"It is my pleasure that my children are free, happy and unrestrained by parental tyranny. Love is the chain whereby to bind a child to its parents." Abraham Lincoln
Both Mary and Abraham Lincoln, for different reasons, didn't have happy childhoods. To the displeasure of others, both parents were known to indulge their children.
In October of 1847, as the family journeyed to Washington D.C., they stopped in Lexington to visit the Todd relatives.
By chance, Mrs. Todd's nephew, Joseph Humphreys had been traveling on the same train as the Lincolns. Arriving at the Todd home before them, Humphreys immediately began describing his journey:
"Aunt Betsy, I was never so glad to get off a train in my life. There were two lively youngsters on board who kept the whole train in turmoil, and their long legged father, instead of spanking the brats, looked please as Punch and aided and abetted (them) in their mischief."
As he looked out of the window, he could see the family getting out of a carriage. Horrified, Humphreys exclaimed, "Good Lord! There they are now!" He was not seen again at the Todds until after the Lincolns left.
Not everyone had the same reaction to the Lincolns as Humphreys. For the next three weeks the Lincolns visited Mary's many relatives. Lincoln romped with Bobby, Eddie and Emilie, Mary's nine year old half sister. The future widow of Confederate General Ben Helm recalled that at the end of their time together, "we hated to see them go".