The earliest known image of Willie Lincoln; In 1862 Mary's favorite son, Willie, died in the White House. This led to a tormented period of mourning. According to Elizabeth Keckley, Mary's seamstress, her grief was so overbearing that Mr. Lincoln warned she would have to be sent to an asylum if she couldn't control it.
William Wallace Lincoln, 11-year-old son of Abraham and Mary, died at the White House on February 20, 1862. He apparently died of Typhus, contracted by contaminated water. Elizabeth Keckly, the former slave who designed Mrs. Lincoln's beautiful wardrobe, washed and dressed him. When the President gazed at him, he mourned, "My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home..."