Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Abe Lincoln’s Morning Commute

The average American commute these days is about 25 minutes, according to the Census Bureau. Turns out, that’s about how long it used to take Abraham Lincoln to make his way from the Lincoln Cottage, where he stayed during the summers, and the White House.

According to Beth Roberts, an interpreter at President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home, it used to take Lincoln about 30 minutes from door to door. He was usually on horseback or horse-drawn carriage for the trip. “He didn’t always wait for his Cavalry escort,” Roberts said.

A statue of Lincoln with his equine transit vehicle, outside the Lincoln Cottage. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call.)

A statue of Lincoln with his equine transit vehicle, outside the Lincoln Cottage. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call.)

But 30 minutes? One would be hard-pressed to make it from the Soldiers’ Home near Petworth to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in a car nowadays, much less equine transit. It’s just one more way Lincoln can relate to the common man, we who toil with the trappings of D.C. traffic ourselves.

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