Lincoln's Other White House: The Untold Story of the Man and His Presidency

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Overview

The Lincolns spent the summer of 1862 north of the White House at the Soldiers’ Home. The lush, cool hill overlooking the squalid capital promised the Lincolns an escape from the "city of stink." Despite fears about Lincoln’s vulnerability in the secluded place, Lincoln spent a quarter of his presidency at the Soldiers’ Home. But until the National Trust for Historic Preservation began restoring the cottage, little had been done to explore this missing link in Lincoln’s life. Elizabeth Smith Brownstein fills in a...

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Lincoln's Other White House: The Untold Story of the Man and His Presidency

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Overview

The Lincolns spent the summer of 1862 north of the White House at the Soldiers’ Home. The lush, cool hill overlooking the squalid capital promised the Lincolns an escape from the "city of stink." Despite fears about Lincoln’s vulnerability in the secluded place, Lincoln spent a quarter of his presidency at the Soldiers’ Home. But until the National Trust for Historic Preservation began restoring the cottage, little had been done to explore this missing link in Lincoln’s life. Elizabeth Smith Brownstein fills in a critical gap. Using diaries, letters, and eyewitness accounts, she provides unusual perspectives on Lincoln’s relationships, traces the evolution of Lincoln’s image, examines the Lincoln marriage, and more. Lincoln’s Other White House is a vivid evocation of a turbulent era, and an intimate portrait of the still elusive president.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brownstein (If This House Could Talk) compiles a detailed portrait of Lincoln's sojourns to the Soldiers' Home, a country residence on the grounds of a veterans' asylum three miles north of the White House, where he and his family spent several months a year from 1862 to 1864. This 160-year-old villa, declared a national monument in 2000, served as the Lincolns' refuge from Washington's oppressive summers, if not from a steady stream of visitors, the threat of Confederate kidnapping plots and the proximity of the Civil War battlefront. (They were "in hearing of cannonshot," Lincoln wrote.) Brownstein addresses familiar themes of the Lincoln presidency, including the solidity of his union with Mary Todd Lincoln. She also cites evidence for the site as the location of the drafting of the Emancipation Proclamation and chronicles both Lincoln's interactions with the free black household staff and escaped slaves housed in nearby camps. This laudatory account, commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help rescue the Lincoln Cottage from obscurity, is dense with excerpts from primary source material, if not with new ideas and analysis. Agent, Paul Mahon. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471485858
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/26/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

ELIZABETH SMITH BROWNSTEIN is a researcher, writer, and producer of cultural documentaries and public affairs programs. She is also the author of If This House Could Talk . . . : Historic Homes, Extraordinary Americans.
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Table of Contents

Foreword.

Prologue.

PART ONE: Lincoln’s Long Journey to the Soldiers’ Home.

1. Beginnings.

2. The Riggs Villa.

3. Washington and the White House.

PART TWO: Lincoln at the Soldiers’ Home.

4. Embattled Retreat.

5. The Lincoln Marriage.

6. Lincoln’s Achilles’ Heel.

7. Lincoln’s Favorite Storytellers.

8. Lincoln and Freedom.

9. Poems on Slavery.

10. Lincoln’s Secretary of War.

11. Lincoln and the Tools of War.

12. Lincoln’s Quartermaster General.

13. Lincoln as Commander in Chief: The Soldiers.

14. The Generals.

15. The Political General: Daniel Sickles.

16. The Professional General: Joseph Hooker.

17. The Political General: Benjamin Butler.

18. Lincoln and His Cabinet.

Epilogue.

Acknowledgments.

Notes.

Additional Sources.

Index.

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    Posted July 17, 2014

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