President Lincoln and his family moved to the cottage at the Soldiers’ Home for the first time 150 years ago this week. The family decided to move for a number of reasons – to mourn the loss of their second son, Willie, to escape the unhealthy conditions of downtown Washington, DC , and to try to find some solitude from the chaos of the city.
Mary Lincoln wrote a letter to a friend, Julia Ann Sprigg, on May 29, 1862 about their expected move in the coming weeks – “The 1st of July, we go out to the ‘Soldiers’ Home,’ a very charming place 2 ½ miles from the city, several hundred feet, above, our present situation, to pass the summer.” The family would move before July, however, based on two separate accounts that indicate the family moved at some point between June 8 and 13, 1862.
The article, “A Very Charming Place,” written by Cottage staff member Zachary Klitzman for our latest edition of the Cottage Courier, discusses the Lincolns’ move to the Cottage. You can read the entire article here.