By George Wellman
President Abraham Lincoln’s personal physician is buried in the Rock Creek Church Cemetery. Doctor Robert King Stone (1822-1872) is buried one block north from the Lincoln Cottage. Because his death was sudden, he was initially interred in the Stone family mausoleum. He was later moved and buried in a grave. Stone is among over 100,000 buried in the oldest cemetery in Washington, DC. The family mausoleum is located in Section A on the northwest side of Saint Paul’s church.
A medical probe which may have been used by Doctor Stone to examine the wound to President Lincoln’s head is on display in the Army Medical Museum, Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The bullet that killed Lincoln and other artifacts associated with the assassination of President Lincoln are also on display.
Doctor Stone testified at the military hearing that convened shortly after the assassination. He provided a graphic description of the head wound and described how President Lincoln struggled to breathe during his last hours before death. Doctor Stone’s medical diploma is included in a special Lincoln bicentennial exhibit “My Abraham Lincoln” in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage. The exhibit is open through December 31, 2009.
When you visit President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home, consider including trip to the Rock Creek Church Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s National Cemetery.