James B. Conroy

Lincoln's White House

The People’s House in Wartime

Co-Winner of the GILDER LEHRMAN LINCOLN PRIZE for 2017 [more]

LINCOLN’S WHITE HOUSE: THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE IN WARTIME is the first book devoted to the look, feel, and scent of the Civil War White House. Going behind the scenes through the keen eyes and ears of its residents, servants, guards, and aides and the constant stream of generals, celebrities, and ordinary citizens who passed through its open doors, the book brings the house to life, unveils its military, political, and domestic operations, and explores Lincoln’s use of the Executive Mansion as a rallying point for the war and an engine for social change.



Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Lyon Press

“Gripping, atmospheric, and at times spellbinding . . .” -Harold Holzer, winner of the Lincoln Prize

“This book will be a standard source for the Lincoln Presidency.” -James M. Cornelius, Curator of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Author James B. Conroy

Published by
Rowman and Littlefield


“Gripping, atmospheric, and at times spellbinding, Conroy’s masterful work does much more than recollect the fraught public and private lives that Lincoln and his family endured in the Civil War White House. Not only are Conroy’s research and analysis impressive, but with the flair of a novelist or playwright, he brings the story alive by skillfully evoking its anxiety-riven characters and its grand but dilapidated locale. I know of no other book since the original recollections of Lincoln’s White House secretaries that does a better job of re-imagining America’s most famous landmark during the war for the nation’s soul.” - HAROLD HOLZER, author of Lincoln and the Power of the Press, winner of the Lincoln Prize

“Conroy finds old and new sources for the fascinating backstairs events and people in Lincoln’s White House. He writes concisely yet imaginatively to bring many famous or forgotten people back to life: black and white, military and civilian, male and female, malicious and beneficent, young and old. This book will be a standard source for the Lincoln presidency.” - JAMES M. CORNELIUS, PhD, curator, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Springfield, Illinois

“Conroy brings Lincoln’s White House to life, letting readers step through the gates, past the guards, and into the presence of the Great Emancipator. Sit in Lincoln’s office and observe a cabinet meeting, or watch the president and first lady shake hands at a reception. Eavesdrop on conversations with office seekers, or enjoy a serenade. Recreating moments, great and small, of joy, grief, exhaustion, commotion, and solitude, Lincoln’s White House gives us a new appreciation for the burdens Lincoln and his family endured during the Civil War.” — JONATHAN W. WHITE, author of Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep and Dreams during the Civil War


Also by James B. Conroy

Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865

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