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Journey: Two The White House Years

Abraham Lincoln achieved what many men only dreamed of when he won the presidency in 1860. But the country was in crisis—the Civil War would begin just weeks after his inauguration, and Lincoln would wrestle with the human toll of battle and of slavery. Family tragedy struck as well, with the death of son Willie in 1862.

Cruel personal and political attacks that greeted the Lincolns when they arrived in Washington, D.C., gave way to an outpouring of grief following his assassination on April 14, 1865. Somber scenes of mourning give way to consideration of Lincoln’s powerful hold on Americans.

Mary Lincoln is being fitted for a ball gown in What Are They Wearing in Washington? She is surrounded by the gowns of her social rivals, who have cruel things to say about her.

In this reproduction of Lincoln's Office in the White House, his cabinet reacts to his plans to issue an Emancipation Proclamation.

Ford's Theater
is a re-creation of the presidential box on April 14, 1865.


Also in Journey Two: The White House Years

  • The Whispering Gallery. Gossiping Washingtonians say brutally unkind things about Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln
  • Fort Sumter. A dramatic mural of Confederate forces attacking Fort Sumter
  • The White House South Portico. The Lincolns in front of the White House
  • The Death of Willie. Abraham and Mary Lincoln at Willie’s deathbed
  • The Hall of Sorrows. Mary grieving the death of Willie
  • Rumors in the Kitchen. The White House Kitchen and its gossiping servants
  • The Emancipation Proclamation. Dissenting voices shout their opinions
  • The Telegraph Office. A sad and grieving Lincoln receives casualty counts
  • The Gettysburg Gallery. From battlefield to hallowed ground
  • The Tide Turns and Washington Celebrates. Lincoln is re-elected and peace is at hand
  • The Funeral Train. A nation pays its respects to the fallen president
  • Lying in State. A re-creation of the scene at the Old State Capitol in Springfield
  • Holding on to Lincoln. Preserving his memory with souvenirs and other objects