Robert Todd Lincoln, the Great Emancipator's eldest son and only child to survive to adulthood, owned the stately residence at 3014 N Street NW from 1912 until his death in 1926. Robert Lincoln was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1843. Ensuring that his son received the proper education that he did not, Abraham Lincoln sent Robert to Phillips Exeter and then Harvard, where he graduated in 1864. Despite his mother's objections, Robert served on General Grant's staff briefly at the end of the war and was present for Lee's surrender.
At his Georgetown residence, Robert Lincoln zealously guarded his father's papers, going as far as taking them with him each summer when he retreated to his "Hildene" estate in Vermont, to ensure that no one accessed them. After even musing about burning all of the papers to protect the family's privacy, Robert finally deeded them to the Library of Congress in 1919 with the stipulation that they remain sealed until 21 years after his death. Amongst the thousands of documents in the now digitalized collection is President Lincoln's January 19, 1865 request to Ulysses S. Grant that the general find a position on his staff for Robert who wished "to see something of the war before it is over."
Robert Lincoln died July 26, 1926, just short of his 83rd birthday. Ironically, his widow, who wanted to ensure that she would not be buried beside her late mother-in-law in the Springfield Lincoln crypt, arranged for him to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, the former estate of Robert E. Lee. Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwirth, Robert's grandson and the last direct living descendant of Abraham Lincoln, lived in Washington, D.C. and died in 1985.