Jessie Harlan Lincoln was the granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln, a politician, lawyer, and the 16th president of the U.S. Her parents were Robert Todd Lincoln and Mary Eunice Harlan. Jessie was born on November 6, 1875, as the second daughter to her parents; her older siblings were Mary Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln II.

Early Life

Jessie Harlan Lincoln was born in Chicago, where her father was practicing law. Her family later moved to Washington, D.C., due to the nature of her father’s work; he served as the secretary of War, a position he held for four years. As her father moved, the family also moved; she lived in London for four years when her father served as United States ambassador to the United Kingdom.

While living in London, Jessie’s brother died aged 19; the loss saddened the family, but they could not return home since her father was there on official duty. After returning to the United States, Jessie and her family settled in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and Jessie started going for piano lessons at Iowa Wesleyan.

Personal Life

Jessie Harlan Lincoln was married three times; she first married Warren Wallace Beckwith. Her father was against their relationship and believed they had stopped seeing each other until he realized they had decided to run away. Despite her father being against their relationship, Jessie and her husband continued living together and were blessed with two children: a daughter named Mary Lincoln Beckwith and a son, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith.

Jessie Harlan divorced Warren in 1907, and then she married Frank Edward Johnson; they were married for ten years before they decided to end their relationship. Jessie’s last marriage was to Robert John Randolph, an electrical engineer. According to her father, Jessie Harlan was irresponsible with finances as she did not know how to manage them well. Therefore, her father Robert Robb Lincoln, opened a trust for Jessie and her sister; in the trust, she was allocated more shares because of her reckless spending.

Her Grandfather

Jessie Harlan Lincoln was one of the few serving ancestors of Abraham Lincoln. Her grandfather commanded great influence as a politician; during his reign, he bolstered the federal government, modernized the U.S. economy, and abolished slavery. Since he was born in poverty, Abraham Lincoln wanted a better life for his people.

Abraham’s early life was not as good, which motivated him to try and do what was good. His mother died when he was nine years old. He was left under the care of his sister Sarah, who was just two years older than him, and a cousin who was 19. Upon the death of his sister in 1828, Jessie’s grandfather was devastated. He later moved to Illinois, where he improved his life; he first concentrated on his education before venturing into politics.


In her later years, Jessie Harlan Lincoln lived in Manchester, Vermont. She died in Rutland, Vermont, aged 72; the cause of her daughter was never mentioned, but she probably died due to old age.