Hotels and Other Public Buildings: Fourth Presbyterian Church
Fourth Presbysterian Church was the preferred church of President Lincoln's two youngest sons. According to Julia Taft, "The President and Mrs. Lincoln attended the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, but it was not long before Willie and Tad formed the habit of going with us to the Fourth Presbyterian, of which Doctor J. C. Smith was pastor. Many in our church were in sympathy with the secessionists, and when Doctor Smith prayed for the President of the United States they would express their disapproval by rising and leaving the church, banging their pew doors and the outside door on their way out. This went on for several weeks until one Sunday a slim young lieutenant appeared with a file of soldiers. When the hour for service arrived the lieutenant marched to the front of the church, wheeled, and in a crisp, military tone, announced:
'It is the order of the Provost Marshal that any one disturbing this service or leaving it before ti is out will be arrested and taken to the guardhouse.'
On another occasion, Mr. Lincoln peered over his reading glasses and asked Julia, "Why do our boys like to go to your church?" Mrs. Lincoln added: "They won't go to Doctor Gurley's unless Bud and Holly go too." When Julia said Fourth Presbyterian was livelier, Mrs. Lincoln asked Willie his opinion. Willie explained about the door-banging and the provost martial - leading Tad to ask his father why preachers insisted on praying "so long for you, Pa?" Julia reported that the smile left Mr. Lincoln's face as he replied: "Well, Tad, I supposed it's because the preachers think I need it and, I guess I do." The President then left the Family Library and went to his office.3