Born in a boardinghouse but passing his last days at ease on a lavish country estate, Robert Lincoln played many roles during his lifetime. As a president’s son, a Union soldier, an ambassador to Great Britain, and a U.S. secretary of war, Lincoln was indisputably a titan of his age. Much like his father, he became one of the nation’s most respected and influential men, building a successful law practice in the city of Chicago, serving shrewdly as president of the Pullman Car Company, and at one time even being considered as a candidate for the U.S. presidency.
Along the way he bore witness to some of the most dramatic moments in America’s history, including Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; the advent of the railroad, telephone, electrical, and automobile industries; the circumstances surrounding the assassinations of three presidents of the United States; and the momentous presidential election of 1912. Giant in the Shadows also reveals Robert T. Lincoln’s complex relationships with his famous parents and includes previously unpublished insights into their personalities. Emerson reveals new details about Robert’s role as his father’s confidant during the brutal years of the Civil War and his reaction to his father’s murder; his prosecution of the thieves who attempted to steal his father’s body in 1876 and the extraordinary measures he took to ensure it would never happen again; as well as details about the painful decision to have his mother committed to a mental facility. In addition Emerson explores the relationship between Robert and his children, and exposes the actual story of his stewardship of the Lincoln legacy—including what he and his wife really destroyed and what was preserved. Emerson also delves into the true reason Robert is not buried in the Lincoln tomb in Springfield but instead was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Meticulously researched, full of never-before-seen photographs and new insight into historical events, Giant in the Shadows is the missing chapter of the Lincoln family story. Emerson’s riveting work is more than simply a biography; it is a tale of American achievement in the Gilded Age and the endurance of the Lincoln legacy.
Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President and led the Union during the Civil War. Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of Abraham Lincoln and lived a controversial life both before and after his death. Until the reorganization that followed World War II, the Secretary of War was the civilian directly in charge of American military forces and belonged to the federal cabinet. Chicago, Illinois, is the largest city on the Great Lakes. Robert E. Lee was served in the United States Army in Mexico and led the Confederate Army in the Civil War. General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Ullysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, effectively ending the Civil War. With the Civil War drawing to a close, President Lincoln was shot to death by John Wilkes Booth as he watched a play at Ford's Theater in Washington DC. Arlington National Cemetery was established in Virginia across the Potomac from Washington DC as the nation's preeminent military cemetery.