In October 1862, Mary took Tad to New York City. They were gone nearly a month, visiting friends and enjoying the comforts of the city’s best hotels. A highlight was their visit to P.T. Barnum’s American Museum. For a twenty-five-cent fee they saw mastodon bones, an Egyptian mummy, and the famous Feejee mermaid (purported to be the remains of a real mermaid, it was really just a glued-together conglomeration of different animal parts). During their time away, Tad lost a tooth, which Mary mailed to her husband. They were gone so long that Abraham—who always let his wife decide when to return—wired: “I really wish to see you.” Mother and son hurried home.
From The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming. Page 125.
You can read more about The Barnum American Museum in The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum.