Here is a more focused set of my photos from Digital Whitman’s DC visit, which we made two days before discussing Whitman’s Lincoln writings/lecture in class.
When we went into the actual theater (or, in some of my students’ cases, the napping room–shame on you!), I was disappointed at first that the guard ushered me upstairs since the downstairs was full. But in the balcony I realized I was actually at eye level with Lincoln’s box, shown below. Both Lincoln and Booth made their way through the crowded balcony that night; the door Booth entered and jammed shut is just to the right of what I captured on this photo. The theater is very intimate, and the box is really hanging over stage left. I had real chills when the ranger was narrating the events of April 1865.
Afterward we toured the Peterson House where Lincoln actually died– such a small, nondescript room with a sloped ceiling and bed so short (the real one is in Chicago, but the replica) that Lincoln had to lie diagonally while they waited for his heart to stop; he was brain dead pretty much instantly after being shot.
At the Library of Congress, Barbara Bair had set out three different tickets to Whitman’s Lincoln lecture, an advertising poster for it, and the text Whitman used for the lecture, which was a novel into which he had glued written bits, parts of his published works, annotations, etc.
Digital Whitman can attest that I am probably a little–well, over-invested in Lincoln. But these artifacts, though not as personal as some others we saw, were indeed very moving to me.