Online Exhibit

Lincoln's Town

Although Lincoln did not allow himself much time for entertainment, he was known as an avid card player and loved to frequent the various theatres in Washington, DC, including the Old National Theatre and Ford’s Theater.


These amusements did not always seem to distract Lincoln from the problems of the country. In his Anecdotes of Public Men, John W. Forney relates, “Mr. Lincoln liked the theatre not so much for itself as because of the rest it afforded him. I have seen him more than once looking at a play without seeming to know what was going on before him. Abstracted and silence, scene after scene would pass, and nothing roused him until some broad joke or curious antic disturbed his equanimity.”


Playing Cards from the Civil War, 1862









Ford Theater Program for Richard III, 1862




Lincoln's White House