Abraham Lincoln’s Will



He didn’t have one, which is curious considering that Lincoln had been an attorney for almost a quarter of a century prior to being elected President.  Mary Lincoln called upon his friend Supreme Court Justice David Davis to act as administrator of the Estate, which he did, charging no fee and asking for no reimbursement for his expenses.

Congress donated the sum of $25,000.00 a years salary, to Lincoln’s family.  The Estate was closed in November 1867 showing a balance of $110,296.80, in today’s cash that would be : $1,750,742.86.  Lincoln’s estate was equally divided between Mary and her two sons.  Mary could have asked for a widow’s cash allowance, but she waived it.

Although Davis agreed to serve as administrator of the Estate he had no high opinion of Mary Lincoln.  In 1873, according to a diary entry of Senator Orville Browning (R. Il.):

“I referred to Mrs. Lincoln; spoke of her unhappy and ungovernable temper, but added that great injustice had been done her; that her faults had been exaggerated, and that I believed that all the charges against her of having pilfered from the White House were false. The Judge replied that the proofs were too many and too strong against her to admit of her guilt; that she was a natural born thief; that stealing was a sort of insanity with her, and that she was carried away, from the White House, many things that were of no value to her after she had taken them, and that she had carried them away only in obedience to her irresistable propensity to steal.”

Davis went on to tell Browning that “after Mr. Lincoln’s death a bill was presented to him as adm[inistrator of the president’s estate] by a merchant of New York, for $2,000, for a dress for the last inauguration; a very large bill for furs, the amount of which I do not remember, and a bill by Mr Perry, a merchant of Washington for 300 pairs of kid gloves, purchased by her between the first of January and the death of Mr Lincoln, all of which he refused to pay; and that the only bill which had been proven against the estate, and which he had paid, was one for $10 for a country newspaper, somewhere in Illinois. He also told me that Simeon Draper had paid her 420,00 for his appointment as cotton agent in the city of New York.” 




Published in: on November 2, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments (3)  
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  1. Lincoln and Mary are always good topics. Thank you for the post and keeping up with your blog. It is always interesting.

  2. Reblogged this on Practically Historical.

    • Thanks! An often overlooked facet of Lincoln’s death.

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