Remaking a speculative piece of history

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Two things we know for sure about the desk: It is an exact replica of the one on which Abraham Lincoln is believed to have drafted the Emancipation Proclamation.

And it was not in the White House at the time, but in the president's cherished cottage retreat three miles away, where Lincoln penned the document freeing the slaves.

Are historians certain he committed his seminal prose to paper at said desk? No.

Nonetheless, the meticulous replica goes on display today for four days at the National Trust for Historic Preservation headquarters near Dupont Circle. Commissioned by the trust's Save America's Treasures program, it will go to the restored cottage at the President Lincoln & Soldiers Home National Monument off North Capitol Street when the retreat reopens. The original is now in the White House Lincoln Bedroom.

The $22,000 reproduction of black walnut, poplar and bird's-eye maple was built by woodcarvers Rob McCullough and Fred Hoover of Christiana, Pa. There are no plans to reproduce it commercially.

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