Within Washington, DC


Time Period
Late August 1861
Within the Interactive Fictional World of
A House Divided: the mysteries
Important: read the Rules before you begin your quest.
Army & Navy
You may visit:
You may visit:


Registration CounterEdit

Upon nearing the registration counter of the Willard Hotel, you ask to register. You are handed a guest registration book and told each night's stay with meals included will be $20. As you examine the registration book during your discussion with the registration clerk, you see only one page and on that page you can read the following names and room numbers already registered for today:

  1. Nathaniel Hawthorne ... Room 201
  2. Edwin Forest ... Room 202
  3. John McCullough ... Room 203
  4. Edwin Booth ... Room 204
  5. Laura Keene ... Room 205
  6. Charlotte Cushman ... Room 206
  7. Charles Francis Adams ... Room 207
  8. Louisa May Alcott ... Room 208
  9. Francis Preston Blair, Sr. ... Room 209
  10. There is one empty line on the registration page, Here is where you may sign your name and register at the hotel, after paying $20 for each night you intend to stay - in advance. Your room number will be Room 210.

Your ChoicesEdit

There are still many people wearing top hats walking around. Some are seated in the lobby. You may either:

  • Go directly to your room - Room 210.
  • Pretend to walk up to your room and - instead - walk through the Hotel's halls and stairs and knock on the door of any room - instead.
  • Nonchalantly walk about the Willard Lobby (see below), searching for persons to interview.
  • Enter the hotel's on-site John Gibbs Hair-Dressing for Gentlemen shop.
  • Enter the hotel's on-site newspaper shop.
  • Enter the on-site Willard Hotel Restaurant for a meal.
  • Walk out the hotel to the streets of Washington, DC.
  • Proceed directly to a location within or around Washington, DC (see sidebar at right).

Overheard at Registration CounterEdit

File:Willard Hotel Clerk Registration Clerk: "The Willard’s history as a major force in the social and political life of Washington began in 1850 when the brothers Henry and Edwin Willard brought the property. Since that time, the Willard has been at the center of a couple of anecdotes that illustrate the hotel’s history. Interview this man further for one hour.

  1. Because of assassination threats in the tense pre-Civil War period, President-elect Abraham Lincoln and his entourage were smuggled into the Willard at dawn on February 23, 1861 by Allan Pinkerton. Here, Mr. Lincoln kept a low profile until he took office.
  2. Even after that, he sometimes holds staff meetings in front of the lobby fireplace.
  3. Lincoln and his family of five stayed at the hotel until his inauguration. His first paycheck as President went to pay his Willard bill at $773.75 for his family’s ten day stay, including meals.

Overheard in LobbyEdit


Seated with BrandyEdit

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

“This hotel, in fact, may be much more justly called the center of Washington and the Union than either the Capitol, the White House, or the State Department. Here, you exchange nods with the governors of sovereign States, you elbow illustrious men, and tread on the toes of generals; you hear statesmen and orators speaking in their familiar tones. You are mixed up with office seekers, wire pullers, inventors, artists, poets, prosers until identity is lost among them. ... And, yes, I plan to write that in my article for The Atlantic Monthly.”

At the Registration CounterEdit

Blair, Frances Preston, Jr.

"Excuse me, could you tell me in which room I might find Francis Preston Blair, Jr.?"

By the Door ManEdit

Chase, Kate

"Excuse me. My name is Miss Chase. Would you please call a carriage for me?"

Walker, Robert John

"Yes, please call me a carriage. I'll be going to the Treasury Building."

Standing in the LobbyEdit

Vallandigham, Clement Rep

"What we are proposing is political compromise rather than warfare. And we aim to organize a rally for the Democratic Party at Mount Vernon, Ohio. Will you join us there, sir?"

Cox, Samuel

"Yes, while I agree that political compromise rather than warfare, I regret, sir, that I may not be able be to attend the rally for the Democratic Party at Mount Vernon unless you postpone it until May."

Pendleton, George

"And I also believe political compromise is to be preferred. And I would be honored to attend and to speak at the rally at Mount Vernon. Is there anything else I can do."

Walking Down the Stairs, Speaking to AnotherEdit

Dennison, William

"Yes, I am in Washington to meet with the President to discuss the Republic Convention, and to meet with my son."

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