During his presidency, Abraham Lincoln and his family resided seasonally in a cottage on the Soldiers' Home grounds, which offered quiet and relief from the heat of the city center. While living at the Cottage, Lincoln commuted to the White House daily, often passing the first National Cemetery, military hospitals, and a contraband camp along the way. What he witnessed were powerful reminders of the price and the promise of freedom.
Historian William Seale on Lincoln's White House
The author of The President's House and the editor of White House History speaks on the drama of the White House during the Civil War. He puts the symbolism of the White House in the context of its original conception by President Washington.
For Kids: Visit Lincoln's Virtual White House on Emancipation Day
Be Tad Lincoln's guest, and visit the White House on the day the Emancipation Proclamation was signed! Select your special character and meet the first family, members of the president's staff, and notable characters from the nation's capital during the Civil War. And don't forget to find all the hidden facts!
Educational School Field-Trip Program ›
Paths to Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation and the Power of the President
This field trip experience is a partnership between the White House Historical Association and The Decatur House on Lafayette Square, a National Trust Historic Site. Students trace President Lincoln's steps as he moved toward emancipation. They participate in a fully costumed reenactment, recreating events at the Civil War White House, which are recorded in HD.