Adult history records Tad Lincoln as the apple of his father's eye. Also on record are comments of Lincoln's contemporaries who brought no familial fondness to bear on the boy who banged in and out of Presidential conferences at will and whose constant presence made his father happier than the advisers who suffered rather than welcomed his intrusion. The Tad drawn here is a sort of court jester whose antics, especially after his brother Willie's death, brought a necessary ray of sunshine into an otherwise grim White House. Tad emerges as a well loved but undisciplined boy. The last chapter shows Tad leaving the Washington thus avoiding his death in adolescence. Incomplete as a biography and unnecessary as background material in the crowded field of Lincolniana.