Lots to see and do for Lincoln fans in Washington
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S COTTAGE: This was Lincoln's summer home, where he and his family escaped Washington's heat and humidity. Located on a breezy hill three miles (4.8 kilometers) from the White House, it was the 19th century equivalent of contemporary presidential retreats like Camp David. A statue of Lincoln and his horse evoke his daily half-hour commute to the White House on horseback. He first visited the house three days after his inauguration and last rode to the site the day before he was shot.
Wagonloads of furniture were brought here each summer from the White House. But unlike many historic sites, the house today is not filled with furniture or personal items, and that's the point. Guided tours of the mostly empty rooms emphasize Lincoln's ideas and the people he encountered during his stays here and on his daily rides, from favor-seekers and foreigners to former slaves and soldiers. You'll stand in the room where he read Shakespeare and the Bible, hear about his meetings with the secretary of war, see the view from the porch that once offered a clear sightline all the way to downtown Washington, and walk up the stairs where his footsteps were heard when he couldn't sleep. Through April 30, an exhibit here displays one of just 26 existing signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation.
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