Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, is one of the most well-known Presidents in history. While many know that he was responsible for such important actions as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address, relatively few know how much he loved animals. Lincoln was a great fan of cats but he and his family also had a few dogs. One dog was named Jip.
Jip was a small dog, and was often seated in the President’s lap during mealtimes. According to Nurse Rebecca Pomeroy, Jip “helped relieve Lincoln of ‘some portion of the burden, for the little fellow was never absent from the Presidential lunch. He was always in Mr. Lincoln’s lap to claim his portion first, and was caressed and petted by him through the whole meal.”
This little dog joined the Lincoln family after they moved into the White House, at least partly because the Lincoln’s other dog, Fido, had been left at home due to anxiety – Lincoln felt as though the hustle and bustle of Washington would have been too much for poor Fido’s nerves. Washington and the White House did not seem to bother Jip overmuch, and he was allowed anywhere in the White House that he chose to go; although most often he could be found with either Abraham himself or Abraham’s son Tad.
Jip was well-liked by many visitors to the White House, and in fact a friend of the Lincoln’s wrote about Jip in a letter to his son, saying that Jip was “a very cunning little fellow” and that Jip was a “very beautiful little dog” who could “bark & stand up straight on his hind feet & holds his fore feet up.”
Abraham Lincoln was exceptionally compassionate about animals and a strong advocate for their rights. While we don’t have a record of what might have happened to Jip, it is likely the little dog remained with the Lincoln family for the entirety of his life, even after the President was assassinated.