June 2018 Newsletter
There has been quite a bit of discussion in our country about how deeply divided we are and whether one is on the “right” side of history. Interestingly, Lincoln himself thought about both things in his own time — how deeply divided the nation was and how history would look upon that time. In one message to Congress he said, “Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves.” And in that same speech, Lincoln made it clear that he believed the path forward he articulated was, “plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.” How was he so confident he was in the right? Lincoln was a believer in the Golden Rule and the righteousness of the ideals on which the United States was founded — that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were among certain inalienable rights — even if those ideals were not yet realized. That Lincoln saw issues through that lens is very evident in both public and private communications. Take the issue of slavery:
- “Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature — opposition to it is his love of justice.” –Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 1854
- “I confess myself as belonging to that class in this country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social, and political evil.” -Abraham Lincoln October 7, 1858
- “I never knew a man who wishes to be himself a slave. Consider if you know any good thing, that no man desires for himself.” –Abraham Lincoln, March 22, 1864
- “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” –Abraham Lincoln, March 17, 1865
Lincoln also understood that the existence of slavery was not only a moral outrage and a betrayal of national ideals, but also perfectly legal in some states. Slavery was constitutionally protected by the very individuals who drafted and stood behind the soaring language of the Declaration of Independence. (In fact, Lincoln was critical of Thomas Jefferson, in particular, for that moral failing, even while admiring the rhetoric he crafted.). To be sure, Lincoln’s ideas on what to do about slavery (e.g. containment, gradual abolition, immediate abolition, etc.) changed over time and were often based on a particular issue at hand and the powers he had at his disposal. But at the end of the day, his feelings on the institution of slavery were firm. There are a good many injustices in our world. The Lincolnian solutions would adhere to the Golden Rule and advance our cherished national ideals.
Yours in history,
10 Ways You Can Fight Human Trafficking
This month President Lincoln’s Cottage is hosting the sixth-annual Students Opposing Slavery (SOS) International Summit. Twenty teenagers from three foreign countries — Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines — plus American students from five different states are coming together for a week-long Summit where they are armed with the knowledge and tools to combat modern slavery. In honor of the SOS Summit, and in honor of our “top ten” lists for our 10-year anniversary year, we’ve composed a list of “10 Ways You Can Fight Human Trafficking.” It includes big things, small things, and everything in between.
Membership Month: Thank You to our Team Lincoln Members
June is membership month at President Lincoln’s Cottage, and to celebrate we’ve reached out to Team Lincoln members and asked why they support President Lincoln’s Cottage. Click here for their answers, what it means to be a Team Lincoln member, and how you can become a Team Lincoln member today.
Don’t forget that all of June Team Lincoln members — old or new — receive a free 10th anniversary copy of the President Lincoln’s Cottage photobiography when they take a tour.
Staff Spotlight: Director of Development, Nora Cobo
Since June is membership month during our 10 year anniversary, we thought it fitting to sit down with Nora Cobo, Director of Development. Click here to learn about the driving force behind membership, Team Lincoln, the finer points of Joseph Haydn, and what Nora currently has in her fridge.
Museum Store Update: The String Doll Gang
Did you know that all items in our Museum Store are mission related and ethically sourced?
The String Doll Gang is one of our favorite fair trade items here in the store. Each doll is handmade by artists at Kamibashi, a fair-trade organization located in northern Thailand.
We have a wide selection of characters, ranging from the fun and quirky like Moe the Woolly Mammoth and Daisy the Flower, to historical dolls like Lincoln and Harriet Tubman, and a lot in between. We live our mission by supporting a business that ensures proper wages to their employees.
Look for Frederick Douglass coming soon to our collection!
To purchase or inquire, stop by the Museum Store located in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, 9:30am-4:30pm daily, or call 202-829-0436.
Vote for President Lincoln’s Cottage as “Best Outdoor Event Space”
Last call! President Lincoln’s Cottage has been nominated for Best Outdoor Event Space by Unique Venues. Help us claim the top spot! Vote by TODAY June 29th, and add why the Cottage is your number one pick. VOTE NOW.
Thank you for your support!
TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY AND SAVE THE DATES
This year marks 10 years of President Lincoln’s Cottage being open to the public — celebrate with us!
To celebrate 10 years, we’ll be offering tickets at select dates for only $10.
Lincoln was a lawyer, and to honor his noble profession, we’re offering a reduced $10 admission to all lawyers on Saturday, July 21. Present your bar card (any state will do!) to get the reduced rate.
Special exhibit: On loan from Jorge Roldan and family until the end of July, President Lincoln’s Cottage will display an original letter to Peach Quinn Harrison from Abraham Lincoln.
In the last murder case of his 25-year career as a trial lawyer, Abraham Lincoln defended Peachy Quinn Harrison. In the letter, dated November 3, 1859, Lincoln responded to Harrison by encouraging him to vote for the man who once prosecuted him.
Preservation Update: New Windows on the Visitor Education Center
Pardon our dust! Have you been to the Cottage recently and noticed renovations and covered windows? Thanks to generous supporters we’re in the midst of a historic doors and windows restoration project on both the Cottage and the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center.
The Beaux Arts building, adjacent to President Lincoln’s Cottage, was originally constructed in 1905 to serve as administrative offices for the Armed Forces Retirement Home. It was sustainably rehabilitated to serve as a welcome center for visitors with exhibits, classroom, and museum store space, as well as administrative space for staff. As a result of these efforts, the building was awarded LEED Gold certification in 2009.
Stay tuned for more updates on the ongoing restoration.
NEWS and AWARDS
- President Lincoln’s Cottage was featured in Jetline Cruise’s “historic marvels” list in Washington, DC
- The recently published guidebook, “111 Places in Washington That You Must Not Miss,” lists President Lincoln’s Cottage
- Erin Carlson Mast was on WEKU radio for a discussion on history and history relevance.
- President Lincoln’s Cottage was listed in Peerspace’s press release as a “must-see event venue” for their Washington, DC launch
- An online blog, Green School Yards, mentioned President Lincoln’s Cottage in their report on Creative Minds International School
- The Election College podcast talked about President Lincoln’s Cottage when discussing Woodrow Wilson
- The travel blog, Sarah Scoop, listed President Lincoln’s Cottage as one of 51 places to visit in Washington, DC
- A couple married at the Cottage were listed in the NY Times
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.