Lincoln’s briefcase and an early version of the Secret Service at Lincoln’s Cottage (VIDEO)

March 5, 2014

On the anniversary of both of his inaugurations, two treasures from Abraham Lincoln’s life and the Civil War are on display at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

On the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's inaugurations, two treasures from his life and from the Civil War are on display at President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington. (Marina Cracchiolo/The Washington Post)

Lincoln was first inaugurated on March 4, 1861, a month before the first shots of the Civil War. He died six weeks after his second inauguration, which was on March 4, 1865.

The exhibit includes a briefcase Lincoln used to transport official documents during his daily commutes in the summers of 1862 through 1864 from the White House to his summer cottage, just three miles away. The briefcase was believed to have carried official documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation, which Lincoln worked on while living at the summer cottage.

Also on display is a photo album containing portraits of each of the members of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers Company. The unit was assigned to guard Lincoln and his family while they stayed at the cottage. The soldiers gave it to Lincoln’s youngest son, Tad, as a gift. Famous Civil War photographer Matthew Brady took all the photos.

The briefcase and photo album are on loan from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. They will be on display at the cottage until June 30.

President Lincoln's Cottage, 140 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW. 202-829-0426. 

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