Fido would spend a great deal of time chasing his tail, and it was thought this would gain him attention when he would wait outside Billy the Barbers when Mr. Lincoln would sometimes stop for a haircut.
Mr. Lincoln was elected President of the United States on November 6, 1860. Mr. Lincoln decided not to take Fido with the family to Washington as it was thought he would miss his home in Springfield.. There was reason to belive that the dog would not adjust to the noises of the growing capitol nor enjoy the trips back and forth.
Naturally Mr. Lincoln's son, Tad, protested but Mr. Lincoln looked for a good home for Fido in Springfield and the dog was left behind. He decided to give Fido to two neighbor boys, John and Frank Roll. They were already fond of the dog and promised to take care of him.
The Lincoln family asked that they were to never scold Fido for muddy paws and he was not to be tied up alone in the backyard. Fido was quite spoiled and loved to ask for treats from the dining room table and to be let in and out when he asked The Lincoln's even gave the Rolls the horsehair sofa that Fido loved to sleep on. Before leaving, in order to capture their beloved pet for history, they took Fido to F.W. Ingmire's studio in Springfield to be photographed. (See below). Mr. Ingmire used a piece of fancy material, draped over a washstand and Fido was on the top but while Willie and Tad, Lincoln's sons, watched, they did not get in the photo.
|Fido as a puppy.||Fido full grown.|
On December 27, 1863, the Presidents Springfield barber, William Florville, wrote a letter to the Lincoln's mentioning Fido. He wrote: "Tell Taddy that his (and Willys) Dog is alive and Kicking doing well he stays mostly at John E. Rolls with his Boys who are about the size now that Tad & Willy were when they left for Washington."
In 1865, after the tragic assassination of the President, hundreds of visitors came to Springfield for the funeral and crowded around the Lincoln home. Old Bob, Mr. Lincoln's horse , was brought back to the martyred presidents residence and wearing a mourning blanket with silver fringe, walked directly after the hearse. Also for the May 4, funeral procession, John Roll brought Fido back to his original home to meet the mourners that were there.
One year later, Fido was also "assassinated" or killed by a man, who, in a drunken rage, stabbed the dog to death. Fido had playfully put his paws up on the man who was sitting on the street curb. Fido had strayed from his home with the Roll's, and like his master, was assassinated.
Information for Fido story was taken from the booklet by Rod Pennington "Lincoln's Dog Fido" Thank You Rod!
This short story , includes a picture of Lincoln's dog "FIDO". The story is composed of prose and verse about the life and death of "FIDO", passed on to her by her father, a woodworker for the Lincoln family home in the late 1800's. This story was originally published and displayed in the Smithsonian and is now a part of its permanent collection.
To receive a copy of this historical, limited edition, numbered booklet, click here