The Lincolns had lived in Washington D.C. when Abraham
served in Congress in the 1840's. They rented space in
a large boarding house. In 1861, the Lincolns would
move into a mansion. In actuality, the nation's
capitol was under construction. The U.S. capitol
building was getting a dome. Washington monument had
been started. The streets were muddy. The water supply
was polluted, and city buildings were turned into
hospitals and places for wounded soldiers to stay. The
city was nearly totally surrounded by military forts.
The White House was not private, but the opposite-- was
constantly full of people coming and going at free
The Lincolns would end up living at the Soldiers
Home, at the edge of the city. It contained sick and
wounded soldiers and sailors. Mary was a volunteer to
help these men in things like writing letters home for
them, and visiting. The Soldiers Home provided a little
peace in the Lincoln family's routine, which was not
available at the White House.
A HISTORY OF WASHINGTON D.C.
Washington D.C. was not always the United States
Capitol. George Washington was given authority to
select a site for a new capitol, to be ready to be moved
to by 1800. These sites have information for Washington
D.C. during the Civil War.
To Answer the Questions, use "Mr. Lincoln's White House:
to find out lots of details about life in the southern
city--our National Capitol.
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