Monday, April 8, 2013

Dress Circle Tickets

A ticket for reserved seating in the Dress Circle
for the April 14, 1865 performance at Ford’s Theatre (LOC).

The Dress Circle, or first balcony, seated 420 audience members in wooden chairs. Abraham and Mary Lincoln, being presidential, would be seated in their own private balcony. They invited several people to attend the performance with them. They invited general Ulysses Grant and his wife Julia. He had just arrived in Washington earlier in the week after general Lee's surrender at Appomattox. But he declined the invitation as Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Grant were not on good terms. Several other people were invited to join them, until finally Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara Harris accepted.

Abraham Lincoln looking forward to an evening at the theater. 
Plays relaxed him, expecially comedy (photo by Alexander Gardner, 1863) (LOC)

more info: double-date

next episode: let's go to the theatre


  1. The BBC did a very good history programme entitled 'the Scot who shot the civil war' about the work of the Scottish photographer Alexander Gardner, if I remember rightly he photographed Lincoln and the hangings.
    It's on youtube

    1. Thank you, I've watched all 4 youtube episodes today, very informative!

  2. Not your usual sort of double date though. Who could have known it would be an historical one?

  3. During a sightseeing trip to Washington, D.C. in 1995 I visited Ford's Theatre. It was eerie to stand where John Wilkes Booth stood to shoot Lincoln. Plexiglass has been installed so you can't enter the theatre box, but you can see the chair Lincoln was sitting in. There's a museum in the basement with lots of Lincoln memorabilia and you can go across the street to visit the room where he was taken after being shot and subsequently died. It's definitely worth a visit if you're ever in D.C. I enjoyed your post.

    1. Being at the exact location where something historical happened makes you more aware and in touch with what took place. Even if it is a reproduction the vibes are still there. If I ever visit Washington D.C. this place will certainly be high on my to-see list.

  4. I know what you mean, even if it's a historical reproduction it definitely recreates the moment. One summer when we were in Orlando, Florida on vacation we went to see the Titanic museum. There was part of the museum where a small portion of the outside deck of the ship was recreated. It was dark with stars in the sky, very cold and you could stand at the guard rail and look out on a small section of water. Even though I knew it wasn't real, it was still very unsettling to my senses.


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