Attempt to Burn the President’s House. – About ten o’clock on Tuesday night, some unknown scoundrel attempted to set fire to the President’s Mansion, the attempt being frustrated by a timely discovery by some of the family. A quantity of combustible matter had been placed in one of the basement rooms and then set on fire. The quantity of smoke which issued from the basement room caused an alarm. The fire was extinguished before much damage was done; the incendiary, however, took the occasion to help himself to a quantity of groceries.
— From the Richmond Sentinel, 22 January 1864, p. 1, c. 4.