During the Lincoln presidency, the family's private living quarters were located on one end of the second floor. Historian Harold Holzer describes President and Mrs. Lincoln's sleeping arrangements in their master suite and the children's rooms across the hall, as well as private corridors connecting some of the rooms. Holzer also describes a corridor that is now a small closet that used to lead to a window that would be opened when President Lincoln wanted to address the public gathered outside the White House. This was where Lincoln gave a speech in which he first mentioned extending voting rights to African-Americans. In the audience that night was John Wilkes Booth who, when hearing this, said, "That's the last speech he will ever make." He shot Lincoln three nights later.
Harold Holzer is a leading authority on Abraham Lincoln and the politics of the Civil War era. He is an author, lecturer, and co-chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.