White House Contest Winnners: Level II
Dillon Lacorte, Philadelphia, PA
January 1, 1864
Since the year is starting, I thought it I would tell you some of the ideas I have to raise money this year for your wounded soldiers. As you know, my father, President Lincoln, put an end to my charging a nickel to be introduced to him. This year, I have a great idea. Every day from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., my father allows anyone with a problem to come and speak to him. Sometimes they wait for hours and become hungry. I decided that I can set up a vendors stand in the lobby. I can sell snacks to those waiting to see my father. This should raise much money for the war effort. I did try to raise money by selling my parents' clothes on the White House lawn, but my father said I must find another way to raise money. I think this vendor machine will really work.
Thomas (Tad) Lincoln
Skyler Kiernan, Bayside, NY
December 28, 1862
Dear Kaylyn Newell,
As you know, I have been invited to the White House for dinner a couple of times. I must tell you what happened last night after dinner. After dinner, Mrs. Lincoln asked me to join her and some new friends in the Red Parlor. She had invited Mr. Laurie from the Post Office and his new wife. Their daughter, Mrs. Miller, and a new friend Ms. Nettie Colburn came also.
After I was introduced to the people in the room, I learned that both Mrs. Miller and Ms. Nettie Colburn could speak to the dead. They call themselves "mediums."
Suddenly, Mrs. Miller stood up and walked to the grand piano. She sat down and began to play a grand march as if she were possessed. Her hands hit the piano keys like lightening from above. Mrs. Miller stopped at the same time President Lincoln had reached the doorway.
Mr Lincoln sat down with Nettie and she became possessed by a very wise man. This man spoke to President Lincoln about the Emancipation Proclamation. He told him that it was the most important thing he would ever do. After an hour, Nettie returned. I heard someone in the room say the ghost was Daniel Webster. Looking up, I saw a portrait of Mr. Webster above the piano. Deep in thought, I wondered how this could have happened. It was a thrill to be there. I hope very much that President Lincoln takes the ghost's advice and finishes the Emancipation Proclamation. I hope one day you can have an experience like this.
All the best, your friend,
Emily Lehman, Lansdowne, PA
March 4, 1829
Dear Editor of the Ladybug News:
My name is Gerald. I am a blue boy ladybug. I got in the White House by a foot. Somebody was coming through the door and I jumped on the foot and then leaped again inside. After I got in the White House I wondered, who was the president now? I went to find out.
First, I went in the Green Room. There was a statue of a bird over the curtains. I thought it was a hawk but then I realized it was an eagle, the symbol of our country. Next, I went into the Red Room. There were people setting up for a party. In the hallway I saw people going back and forth moving furniture around. I overheard a conversation that Andrew Jackson was moving in and John Quincy Adams was moving out. Maybe the Inauguration is today!
On my way to check out the Oval office I heard the sound of rushing feet. I took cover. These must be the people coming for the party. They looked poor and weren't wearing elegant clothes. People just kept coming and coming. I scurried over to the window and I peered out. I saw a man riding on a white horse up to the steps of the White House. Could that be Andrew Jackson? I tried to get a better look at the door but he was already gone. Soon the White House was so packed with people that many china dishes were breaking.
What was I to do? How could I save the White House? Then I thought of an idea. I went to the punch bowl and jumped in. A cook noticed me in the punch. She carried the bowl outside to pour it out but the guests thought they were serving punch out on the lawn. They followed the cook outside and the White House was saved. When the cook poured out the punch I escaped. The party continued late into the night. I was a little wet, but all was saved.
Mary Kate Wheeler, Philadelphia, PA
My name is Mary Kate Wheeler, and I was the official pet sitter and care taker for President Gerald R. Ford's dog, Liberty.
This was the most important job I ever had. Taking care of Liberty was also a lot of fun. Liberty was a Golden Retriever with plenty of energy! I was responsible for taking care of all of Liberty's needs, especially when the president and his family were away. I would take Liberty for long walks around the White House grounds. Liberty' favorite spot was on the South Lawn of the White House.
Liberty had lots of room to run and play. The swimming pool at Camp David was another favorite place for Liberty, because she loved to doggie-paddle! Liberty would always need a nice bath after swimming.
Liberty was a very well behaved dog, so good that the president would let her lay in the Oval Office while he worked.
One night, I recall when it was my day off, the president and Liberty were accidentally locked out of the White House. Liberty woke the president in the middle of the night to do her "business." The president forgot to tell the Secret Service that he was taking the dog out! Ford needed to alert the guards that they were locked outside of the mansion. Soon, the guards came out to let them both in. I am really glad that did not happen on my watch!
Joy Xu, Frederick, MD
Dear Ellen and Frederick Dent,
Greetings! It is me, Julia Dent-Grant, your loving daughter. How have you been? I have so much news for you!
First of all, I am sorry for not writing earlier; our schedule has been packed. Nellie, my only daughter, is getting married! She is very excited; she is marrying a very rich man indeed. His name is Algernon Charles Frederic Satoris, a handsome and wealthy Englishman. Though Ulysses and I have had our doubts, Nellie loves him dearly, and we just want the best for her.
The wedding will be held in the lavish East Room. I fancy that room in fact! It has a portrait of George Washington, a treasured possession since 1800! There are also so many majestic marble columns surrounding it, too. I have held many celebrations there.
We are all very excited about all this news, but Ulysses and I do not know how much longer we will be able to stay at the White House. The elections come and go. The White House is so marvelous, I have grown to think of it was my only true home. But when Ulysses's presidency ends, we plan to take a trip around the world. I will be sure to visit you back home in the White Haven as soon as possible.
Well, write back soon and take care until then. I love you and hope to hear from you soon. May God Bless America!
Julia Dent Grant