Lincoln Cradle

Image of the cradle used by the Lincoln children.
The hand that rocked the cradle

Highs and lows were captured in this one artifact from the Lincolns’ lives in Illinois. The Lincolns’ oldest son, Robert, was born while they were living in one room at the Globe Tavern, and this cradle would have been much too large and expensive for the Lincolns. After the family moved into their one and a half story home, and Mary had their second son, Eddie, in 1846, they had the room and a little extra money to purchase this large walnut cradle. Sadly, Eddie may have still been using it when he died less than four years later. The youngest Lincoln boys, Willie and Tad, also used it when they were born in 1850 and 1853. Imagine the stories Lincoln told his boys over this cradle! Or did he practice his legal arguments and political speeches as a way to lull them to sleep?