Presidents Day Abraham Lincoln and his dog

In honor of President’s Day,

Source: Henry Horner Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

thought we might do a short article
about Abraham Lincoln’s dog Fido.

Abraham Lincoln was often spotted in
Springfield Illinois walking to the local market
with his dog Fido behind him.

Yes the dog’s name was Fido. Its said
that Fido was a yellow floppy eared
dog. Its uncertain what breed the dog
was. He was very loved.

Once Lincoln was elected President of the
United States he decided not take Fido with him
to the White House.
He was worried that his dog might not survive
the train ride.


Lincoln Research Site reports

By all accounts Mr. Lincoln’s son, Tad, protested. Nevertheless, Mr. Lincoln wouldn’t be swayed and looked for a good home for Fido.


Finally, the president-elect decided to give Fido to two neighbor boys, John and Frank Roll. They promised to take good care of Fido during Mr. Lincoln’s term in the White House. The boys’ father, John Eddy Roll, was a carpenter who had helped the Lincolns remodel their house.


The Roll family was asked never to scold Fido for entering the house with muddy paws. He was not to be tied up alone in the backyard. Additionally, Fido was to be allowed into the Roll home whenever he scratched at the front door and into the Rolls’ dining room at mealtimes.


Fido was used to being given food by everyone sitting around the table. To make Fido feel at home, the Lincolns gave the Rolls their horsehair sofa. Shortly before the Lincolns left for the White House, they took Fido to F.W. Ingmire’s studio in Springfield to have his picture taken (see below). Mr. Ingmire draped a piece of fancy material over a washstand and placed Fido on top. Willie and Tad watched the proceedings but did not get into the pictures.


Fido was one special dog. After
Lincoln’s assassination Fido
was brought back  home
in Springfield.

As mourners traveled from
out of town, to pay their
respects, they were greeted by

History of Presidential Pets at the White House

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