Are First Families the same as other families? The Lincolns certainly didn’t have it easy. The White House they lived in wasn’t what it is today – built on marshland, the south lawn was full of raw sewage and the place was damp and infested with vermin. Two of the Lincoln children – Tad and Willie – caught typhoid fever there. Willie died of the disease. He was only 11 years old. Even earlier, in 1850, the Lincolns lost their second child, Eddie, who was just shy of his fourth birthday. The difficulties in Abraham and Mary’s marriage are well known, as is the strained relationship Lincoln had with his son Robert. Perhaps in remembering their personal tragedies and difficulties, it is easier to see the Lincoln family in a more relatable way. Remembering them as a family, and not individuals, puts an entirely new perspective on their story.