DL Fowler's Blog

Lincoln’s Cottage (Lincoln’s Footsteps #2)

Posted in Uncategorized by DLFowler on January 27, 2016

Discovering Lincoln’s Cottage at the edge of Washington DC was one of the highlights of last fall’s roadtrip. The cottage served as a summer refuge for the Lincoln family during the tribulations of the Civil War and little Willie’s death. There is probably no other place where you can connect so intimately with the Lincoln family. For us, that connection was in no small measure enhanced by our terrific tour guide, Robert Gotffredi.

Here’s his smiling face.


And here he is on the back porch of the cottage, giving us the low-down.


During the summers of 1862-1864, Lincoln rode by horseback between the cottage (where he slept) and the White House (where he worked). A prominent feature on the cottage grounds is the statue of Lincoln and his mount.



On most days, those round trips included three rituals. An exchange of nods with the poet Walt Whitman who lived along the route, a stop at the “contraband camps” where Lincoln joined escaped slaves in singing spirituals, and solitary walks among the graves of fallen Union soldiers.  We can only imagine the thoughts that consumed him on such occasions.

Inside the cottage (where photography isn’t allowed) Robert shared stories about late night visitors who woke the nightgown and slipper clad, bed-headed President from naps. They usually came for business, sometimes out of curiosity, and often were entertained with stories and jokes until late into the night.

The cottage is not only a repository of unique information about the Lincolns’ year in Washington, it is also available as a venue for a variety of educational, business and social events. Needless to say, the Lincoln Cottage was one of the great discoveries of our adventure.


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