White House Wednesday | Hall Chair with Special Compartment

By Robert Hancock
Senior Curator and Director of Collections

These elaborately carved hall chairs can be seen in the entrance hall of the White House. The seat of the chair is hinged and lifts up to reveal a shallow compartment sufficient to hold a pair of gloves or sheaf of papers; any small items a visitor might not wish to carry through the house. 

January 2017 Document of the Month | An Appeal for Aid

By John Coski

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, an estimated 300,000 southerners, white and black, faced the real prospect of famine.  The immediate cause of the crisis was not the effects of civil war and emancipation, but drought and crop failure during the 1866 growing season. The Federal government, through the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands – the “Freedmen’s Bureau” – budgeted $500,000 in aid, and private organizations mobilized throughout the United States to raise and distribute money, food, and clothing.

White House Wednesday: Behind the Stanchions | The Davis Bust

By Brianna Kirk
Lead Historical Interpreter

Everyone likes getting new things. With the holidays just past, many are enjoying new gifts as they start the new year.

Historians like getting new things, too. One of the rewards of working in a historic home is the plethora of artifacts that are donated. Each comes with its own interesting, and often fascinating, story.


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