Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Willie Lincoln Carte de Visite Signed by Mary Lincoln. 2.5" x 4", with no imprint present on verso. A standing portrait of young William Wallace Lincoln, the third son of Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln captioned the portrait, "Our Willie". Inscribed on verso by the recipient, Kentucky Senator Cassius M. Clay, is the note, "Given me by Mrs. A. Lincoln 1862. C. M. Clay." The portrait was taken of William, age nine, in Springfield, Illinois in 1860. Clay was appointed by Lincoln to be U.S. Minister to Russia in 1861. Previously sold at Christie's in 2002.

    Willie and his younger brother Tad both became ill in early 1862. Historians now believe that the boys may have contracted typhoid fever from contaminated water, since the White House used the same water source as the thousands of soldiers and horses who camped along the Potomac River. Although Tad recovered, Willie gradually became weaker and weaker. He passed away on February 20, 1862, and his death was a blow from which his family hardly recovered; the bright, studious boy had been his father's favorite, and his brother Tad's only regular playmate. The President frequently locked himself in his office to mourn in private, and Mrs. Lincoln was so devastated she could not even attend the funeral. From the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.

    Condition: Toning throughout, with moderate soiling at the upper and lower edges. The corners are worn, especially at the bottom. Mary Todd's inscription is clear and bold. Senator Clay's inscription on back is also clear. There is a small, pencil notation on verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,548

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search