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President Abraham Lincoln did not sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom. During his presidency, Lincoln used that room on the Second Floor, now known as the Lincoln Bedroom, as his office and Cabinet Room. After the Harry S. Truman Renovation (1948-1952), the room was furnished in the Victorian style with several Lincoln-era pieces of furniture, including a rosewood bed purchased by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln for placement in a White House guest room. Because of the bed’s large dimensions, many have assumed that President Lincoln used it but there is no documented evidence that he did.

In 2002, First Lady Laura Bush initiated a refurbishment of the Lincoln Bedroom. Supported by the White House Historical Association and with the advice of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, the first lady oversaw the project, during which curators and other specialists used period documents, photographs, and descriptions of the Lincoln-era White House furnishings, wallpaper, and carpeting to recreate a more accurate 1860s décor. The project was completed by November 2005.

This 2005 color photograph showcases the Lincoln Bedroom, located on the Second Floor of the White House. Previously used as an office and Cabinet Room, the room became a bedroom in the family quarters during the 1902 Roosevelt renovation. The high-back bed, known as the Lincoln Bed, was purchased for the White House by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. Despite its purchase during the Lincoln administration, the bed was probably never used by President Abraham Lincoln. Furnished during the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the room features furniture, artwork, and refurbishing reminiscent of the 1860s. In 2005, the room underwent refurbishing under the direction of First Lady Laura Bush enhancing the historical accuracy of the Lincoln Bedroom.

White House Historical Association

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