August 2016 Newsletter


August Mast Head


Erin Directors Photo

Dear Friends,

With both temperatures and national tempers high, we’re reminded of a couple of the motivations for the Lincolns to live at the Cottage during the “hot season” in DC — coolness and perspective. We strive to offer both to the public and enjoy the exchange of perspectives we gain in return. Of course, as an organization we’re nonpartisan. But when the story is Lincoln and the Civil War, we’re not doing our job if we eschew politics completely. Every day our team fields a broad range of political questions — about the past, about the present and, as to our unending delight, about the relationship between the past and the present. We know it can help to look at an event from the perspective of those who experienced it, rather than taking things for granted in hindsight. In that vein, I hope you enjoy the featured article, “#NeverLincoln,” and that it’s useful the next time your conversations with friends, family, and coworkers turns to politics.

We have many, many programs coming up that we’re excited about including a very special project for Family Day called ‘UNITY,’ the return of our Freedom 5K race, and our first Cottage Conversation of the 2016-2017 season. I’m also delighted to share that our first collaboration with the DC Improv was sold-out and that tickets are going fast for the remaining two programs in the series. Each part of the series is completely different from the last, so the series as a whole offers something for just about every taste.

Thank you for your support,



SOS 4 163

Launched in July, we are continuing our crowdfunding campaign to replace the current carpeting in the Cottage. Inspired by President Lincoln’s opposition to slavery, the new carpeting will be made FREE of any enslaved labor and certified as such by GoodWeave.

DONATE and LEARN MORE about this campaign to preserve the Cottage and Lincoln’s brave ideas.

#NEVERLINCOLN: Abolitionists and the 1860 Election

Never Lincoln Photo

This year’s presidential race has been marked by pronounced intraparty disagreements during the primary season, which still shows residual impact with the social media hashtags #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary. However, intraparty strife is nothing new or particular to 2016. See how some abolitionists in the 1860 election struggled on whether and how they should support Abraham Lincoln for president.




On Wednesday, August 17th, the Cottage teamed up with the DC Improv to host the first night of our Two Faces Comedy Series. Lincoln’s drawing room transformed into a comedy den featuring comedians Kasha Patel, Tok Moffat, and Rahmein Mostafavi who joked about their perspective on the American immigrant experience.

Reserve tickets now for our remaining shows! The September performance is almost sold out.

Upcoming shows:
Wednesday, September 7
Tuesday, October 18

COTTAGE CONVERSATION: Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives

Lincoln's Generals' Wives

Join us on Thursday, September 22nd, for the first Cottage Conversation of the 2016-17 season when author Candice Shy Hooper and C-SPAN CEO Susan Swain discuss Hooper’s new book, Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives.

CLICK HERE for more info on the program and how to RSVP.



Our annual Family Day and Freedom 5K events are coming up in September. Click the links below to find out more info and to RSVP!

September 10 – FAMILY DAY 
September 24 – FREEDOM 5K

Stay up-to-date on our latest programs by visiting our Public Programs page.

COTTAGE PRESERVATION: Iron Stairs and Windowsills

Windowsill Preservation

Our Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry has been busy preserving our iron stairs and window sills.

Read Jeff’s explanation of the current work being done.

 STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Favorite Question to Ask on Tour

Staff Spotlight Favorite Question Video

This month’s Staff Spotlight focuses on questions our staff likes to ask visitors on tours of the Cottage. These questions have a wide range of topic matter and showcase how the Cottage is a place of ideas and how we strive to provoke thoughtful experiences for our visitors.

Watch and hear our staff explain their favorite questions.



My Life at the Soldiers’ Home: On June 14, 2016, James Spencer Dryden passed away at age 106. Mr. Dryden worked at the Soldiers’ Home during World War II and shared with us his recollections of the experience during the fall of 2013.

My Lifetime Relationship with the Lincoln Cottage: With the help of Jim Zeender, a registrar at the National Archives, President Lincoln’s Cottage received President Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Act on June 1 this summer. Read Mr. Zeender’s experience of that day as well as his personal connection with the Cottage and Soldiers’ Home.


Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.


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