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Lincoln's Cottage

Overview

Lincoln's Cottage otherwise called President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home National Monument is a national monument located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. It is situated close to Brookland in Washington, President Lincoln's Cottage was previously called Anderson Cottage. Other than President Abraham Lincoln and family who seasonally stayed in this cottage on the grounds of the Soldiers' Home to escape the political pressure and heat of downtown Washington, the cottage was also utilized by other Presidents. President James Buchanan (1857–1861) who ruled before Lincoln also resided seasonally in the cottage to escape from political pressure. Also, Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes (1877–1881) and Chester A. Arthur (1881–1885) used the Lincoln's Cottage as the Summer White House.

President Lincoln's Cottage

History

The Cottage was constructed from 1842 to 1843 and it was built in the Gothic revival style. Initially, when the cottage was built, it was built as the home of George Washington Riggs, who went on to establish the Riggs National Bank in City of Washington.

President Lincoln lived in the cottage from June to November 1862 through 1864 and the preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was drafted by him during the first summer living there. In 1863, the President was often seen riding to or from Soldiers' Home by Poet Walt Whitman, who was living on Vermont Avenue near the White House and this fact was written by the Poet in an article in The New York Times which quotes "Mr. LINCOLN generally rides a good-sized easy-going gray horse, is dressed in plain black, somewhat rusty and dusty; wears a black stiff hat, and looks about as ordinary in attire, as the commonest man...I saw very plainly the President's dark brown face, with the deep cut lines, the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression." This article was also quoted in Whitman's 1876 book Memoranda during the War and for the memoranda, he added the phrase: "We have got so that we always exchange bows, and very cordial ones."

 

President Lincoln's Cottage stands on 251 acres of land (1.02 km²) and it is on the third highest point in Washington. It was 1973, on November 7th that the Cottage was designated a National Historic Landmark and then on February 11th 1974, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cottage was also placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered list and this happened in 2000. Then in the same year, on the 7th of July, President Bill Clinton proclaimed about 2.3 acres (9,300 m2) of President Lincoln's Cottage a National Monument. The restoration of the Lincoln's Cottage was completed in 2007 after the National Trust took it on. In a joint venture by the Philadelphia firm J. S. Cornell & Son, and Stephen Ortado, Historic Structures, the Cottage exterior was restored to the period of Lincoln's occupancy in the 1860s according to the standards of the National Park Service and in recent times, the property is leased through a cooperative agreement with the Armed Forces Retirement Home by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

President Lincoln's Cottage

Public Opening of President Lincoln's Cottage

On February 18, 2008, President Lincoln's Cottage was opened to the public in February. A reproduction of the Lincoln desk on which he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation was commissioned by the Trust for use in the Lincoln's Cottage. Also, the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center adjacent to the cottage features exhibits about President Lincoln's Cottage. President Lincoln's Cottage and Visitor Education Center is normally open to the public for tours seven days a week.

Another place of interest: Lafayette Square

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