William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln was the third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln who died in the White House at the age of 11 on February 20, 1862. The cause of death was more than probably was typhoid fever developed from drinking Washington’s contaminated water sometime in late January of 1862. He fell ill and remained ill for almost two months, his condition fluctuating from day to day.  Finally, after much suffering, the child died at 5:00 PM on February 20, with his parents by his side.  "My poor boy.” His father said “He was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!"

His death deeply affected the nation and the First Family.  It was reported that Willie's younger brother, Tad, cried for nearly (Who was sick with the same illness at the same time, though he survived.)

Mary Todd Lincoln was so distraught that Lincoln feared for her sanity and Abe Lincoln fell into one of deep depressions, this one lasting for a week.  He and Mary Todd held several séances in the Green Room to contact Willie’s spirit in the afterlife.

Willie Lincoln's ghost was first seen in the White House by staff members of the Grant administration in the 1870s and was seen again in the 1960s by President Lyndon B. Johnson's college-age daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, who said she not only saw the ghost but conversed with it.