ROBERT SMITH TODD (February 25, 1791-July 17, 1849) was a Lexington, KY, banker, attorney, merchant and the father of Mary Todd Lincoln. Todd and his wife, Eliza Parker, had six children. After Eliza’s passing, Robert married Elizabeth Humphreys and the couple had eight children.
Robert Todd headed a socially prominent family. He was president of the Lexington branch of the Bank of Kentucky. He held minor political offices but wielded major political influence in the state. He was a personal friend of Henry Clay and with nearly all the prominent Whigs in Fayette County and elsewhere in the state. Todd was also a slaveholder, a factor that weighed on Mary Todd, first with ambivalence and later with disgust.
Lincoln’s first son was named for his maternal grandfather. At the time, Robert Todd traveled to Springfield to see his infant namesake.
When Robert Todd died in the cholera epidemic in July 1849, Abraham Lincoln was chosen to go to Lexington after the Todd will was challenged by a son, George Todd. Lincoln’s primary concern was to protect the interests of his wife and her three sisters in Springfield.
Offering a one-page, 8 x 12, MsDS, [Fayette, KY], 1826 June 23, being a bond of David and Robert S. Todd to pay James B. January the sum of $200. It is witnessed by A. Ganett.
Provenance: Christies, New York, The Norman Boas Estate.
“Know all men by these presents that we David Todd and Robert S. Todd are held and firmly bound unto James B. January his heirs and assigns in the final sum of two hundred dollars current money of Kentucky to the payment of which will and truly to be made we and each of us bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators jointly and severally firmly…The condition of the above obligations is such that whereas the above bound David Todd hath commenced a suit at law in the Fayette Circuit Court against said James B. January…”
In very good condition and very readable. Moderate age toning and slight marginal defects not affecting the text. Edge fold breaks repaired with archival tape. Autographs of Robert Todd in any form are quite scarce. A remarkable example of Lincoln related Americana.
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