Saturday, October 27, 2012


Does his ghost continue to haunt the White House? Reminds me of the hit movies 'National Treasure' and 'Natural Treasure 2'!

Abraham Lincoln, who is said to haunt the White House
There have been several stories about ghosts of former Presidents revisiting the White House. However, the most common and popular is that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's Ghost, or to others as The White House Ghost, is said to have haunted the White House since his death. It is widely believed that when he was president, Lincoln might have known of his assassination before he died.[1]

The dream

Lincoln had a dream in April 1865, the month that he was assassinated. As he recounted to friends the day he died:

"About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along.

 I saw light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.

 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers, 'The President,' was his answer; 'he was killed by an assassin.' Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since."

Lincoln Bedroom

The Lincoln Bedroom in 2007, looking southeast (Newsweek - Gary Fabiano)

Lincoln (Never) Slept Here

The Lincoln Bedroom is a bedroom on the second floor of the White House, part of a suite of rooms that includes the Lincoln Sitting Room and Lincoln Bath. Named for Abraham Lincoln and used by him as an office, this room is known for alleged ghost sightings. The room is best known as a guest room used by presidents to reward friends and political supporters.
The room has been furnished in Victorian style since the Truman renovation. Some of the furniture was used by the Lincoln administration (but pre-date it), including the sofa and three matching chairs, two slipper chairs, and four of Lincoln's Cabinet chairs.

 The central feature of the room is the Lincoln bed, a nearly 8-foot by 6-foot rosewood bed with an enormous headboard. The bed was probably never used by President Lincoln, although several later presidents have used it.
A holograph copy of the Gettysburg Address is displayed on the desk. This copy is the only one of five that is signed, dated, and titled by Lincoln.

Before the construction of the West Wing in 1902, this room was used as either an office or a meeting room for the president's Cabinet. Anddrew Jackson installed a Russia stove in small sandbox, which he retrofitted to the closed fireplace, but the fireplace was later reopened. When the president's staff was moved to the new West Wing, this room became the "Blue Suite" bedroom where, for example, Margaret Wilson lived. Lou Hoover turned it into a parlor and filled it with Lincoln furnishings. When the White House was gutted and rebuilt during the Truman administration, this room was rebuilt and rededicated to Abraham Lincoln.

Adapted from America's First Families: Chapter 3, A Home Within a Symbol:
During the months when First Lady Nellie Taft was recuperating from a stroke, her visiting sisters Eleanor Moore, Jennie Anderson, and Maria Herron lived in the "Blue Suite" across the hall from the Rose Suite. Intermittently during the Wilson tenure, this was the home of Margaret Wilson, the daughter who remained unmarried. When Herbert Hoover decided to move his private office here, the "Blue Suite" became the "Lincoln Study." It was again a bedroom under FDR -- where adviser Harry Hopkins and his wartime bride Louise lived -- but the Lincoln bed was not yet in place.

Finally, in 1945, under Harry Truman's direction the Lincoln bed and accompanying furniture were moved in, and the "Lincoln Study" became the Lincoln Bedroom.

In 2004, the White House announced that it would redecorate the Lincoln Bedroom to freshen it up and even restore the bed with a canopy just like the original put away decades ago.

Adapted from the Washington Post:
But, in the first sweeping rethink of the Lincoln Bedroom in at least three decades, the timid lemon walls, celery-green curtains and pale floral carpet are being banished in favor of a blast of Victorian bliss.
Heady hues of emerald green, golden yellow and deep purple will carpet the floor, drape the windows and envelop the massive, six-foot-tall carved headboard. Walls will be papered in a restrained palette of cream tones -- a nod to contemporary tastes -- but the pattern has been derived from the Victorian Age. Two elaborate cornices such as might have topped windows in Lincoln's day have been carved and sent to the gilders. An opulent white marble mantel was commissioned to better complement a rococo-style mirror installed last summer.

The pièce de résistance, both decoratively and symbolically, will be a carved bed canopy in the shape of a crown. It too has been sent for gilding. When affixed to the ceiling, the crown will support yards of regal purple satin over white lace, both trailing to the floor.

More Images

The Lincoln Bedroom in 2009, from inside the closet (Christopher Morris)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 2007, looking southwest (Newsweek - Gary Fabiano)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 2007, looking northwest (Newsweek - Gary Fabiano)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 2007 (Joshua Feltman)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 2007 (Joshua Feltman)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 2005 (White House Historical Association)
The Lincoln Bedroom, circa 2001 (White House)
The Lincoln Bedroom, circa 1999 (White House Historical Association)
The Lincoln Bedroom, circa 1999 (White House Historical Association)
The Lincoln Bedroom, circa 1996 (Howard Tullman)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1992 (HABS)
Another view of the Lincoln Bedroom in 1992 (HABS)
The Lincoln Bedroom's closet, 1992 (HABS)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1963, after renovation (Kennedy Library)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1960 (Kennedy Library)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1952, after the Truman reconstruction, looking southeast (Truman Library)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1952, after the Truman reconstruction, looking southeast (Truman Library)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1952, after the Truman reconstruction, looking southwest (Truman Library)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1947, before the Truman reconstruction (Truman Library)
The Lincoln Bedroom in 1947, before the Truman reconstruction (Truman Library)
The room as a study around 1930; note the Washington Monument through the window (NARA)
Hoover with French Premier Pierre Laval in the Lincoln Study in 1931 (Time | Erich Salomon)
The room as a study around 1930, looking northeast (NARA)
The room as a study around 1930, looking west (NARA)
The room as the president's study in 1930, after the Hoover refurbishing (White House Historical Association - Hoover Library)
The Jackson bed (now in the Queens' Bedroom) in the room when it was first turned into a bedroom by the first Roosevelts, circa 1904
The room as the president's study just before being turned into a bedroom by the first Roosevelts, circa 1903
McKinley's office, around 1900
Secretary of State John Hay with Spanish diplomats at the Resolute desk
in President McKinley's office in 1899 (Library of Congress - Frances Benjamin Johnston)
President McKinley's office, circa 1898 (Library of Congress)
President McKinley at the Resolute desk, around 1897 (The Presidents)
The Lincoln Bedroom as Grover Cleveland's office, around 1896 (The Presidents)
The room, around 1893 (Corbis)
The room as Harrison's office, after electrifications (with bare fixture hanging over the desk), around 1892 (The Presidents)
The Lincoln Bedroom as Benjamin Harrison's office in 1889 (White House Historical Association [Library of Congress])
Newspaper etching of Andrew Johnson being served his impeachment summons in his office in 1868 (New York Public Library)
Etching of the room after being redecorated by Mrs. Patterson during the Johnson administration, circa 1867
Abraham Lincoln in his office in 1864
Abraham Lincoln in his office, circa 1863
Etching of the Lincoln Bedroom as the Lincoln "Council Room," circa 1862 (Library of Congress)
An etching of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation with the Cabinet in 1862 (Library of Congress)
An etching of the room as president's office around 1856

How accurate are portrayals of the White House by Hollywood? Some are good; some not so good. Here, you will find reviews of movies and television shows that feature the White House prominently and an evaluation of their accuracy. It should be noted that in the case of fictional stories, a fictional president is entitled to a fictional White House.

1 comment:

Olya Olegovna said...

Pretty interesting post! Thanks it was interesting.