December 2018 Newsletter



Dear Friends,

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. And we have hundreds of thousands of photographs, spanning over 150 years, of the Cottage. So when our colleague, Jenny, asked us to share our favorite President Lincoln’s Cottage photo of all time for this issue…where to begin? The only way for me to narrow it down was to think about what I wanted the picture to say.  Should it speak to the rich history of this place, a historical photo that illuminated something about the Cottage or its history? Perhaps one from the restoration and Grand Opening that shows the work and dedication which breathed new life into the Cottage, as we opened it for the first time as a museum? Or a personal photo, perhaps of family or staff enjoying time together at the Cottage? In the end, I can’t pick a favorite. Too many stunning, emotional, complex photos (not to mention lithographs, paintings, etc.) vie for favorite status.

So instead I picked one of my favorites that tells a timeless story as 2018 draws to a close and we enter 2019. It’s a photograph from our first Youth Naturalization Ceremony hosted for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services back in 2013. The ceremony was held inside the Emancipation Proclamation room of the Cottage.  The first thing you see in this picture is how joyful and proud the children are. The meaning deepens when you realize that moments earlier they had their own historic, life-changing moment, in a house where Lincoln had many nation-changing moments. It’s a photo that speaks to the promise of the Cottage and of our country. It’s a promise that we will continue to preserve this place and share the beliefs Lincoln nurtured and advanced here, and that those ideas are as important as ever to our country and to all who believe in the American idea.

Thank you for your support of the Cottage and our dedication to these ideas.

Wishing you peace and prosperity in 2019,


We Want Your Newsletter Feedback!

New year, new…newsletter? In 2019 we’d like to shake things up a bit, but we need your help. Please take a moment to tell us what you like, what you can do without, or any other changes you would like to see to the Proclamation. We appreciate your feedback!



This year marks 10 years of President Lincoln’s Cottage being open to the public — thank you for celebrating with us all year long!

To celebrate, we rolled out ten $10 deals and curated ten Top Ten lists over the past ten months (Can we say “ten” more? We were a little obsessed, we know). Did you miss any of our Top Ten lists? Click here for the Recap.


Important Tour Announcement: “A Good Deed in a Weary World”

This January, President Lincoln’s Cottage will be offering an alternative tour experience. The signature Cottage tour as you know it will be paused, and in its place—for one month only!—we will be offering a unique, self-guided experience full of illumination, at a lower admission. Join us in seeing and feeling the Cottage in a way you’ve never experienced before. Stay tuned for more details! For questions in the meantime, reach out to

Preservation Updates

This winter, Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry will continue with restoration of the West Balcony. Click here for a detailed description of the project. One exciting feature? He’ll be returning the jib doors in the Mary Lincoln room to functionality.

Other updates in 2019 will include removal, restoration, and re-installation of the cast iron stairs on the veranda of the Cottage. Additionally, an under-utilized gallery space in the Visitor Education Center will be getting a makeover. Thanks to generous Giving Tuesday donations, we’ll be revamping the room into a multi-purpose, community space. Stay tuned for photos and updates on these projects!

Save the Dates

Cottage Conversation: February 7, 2019 with Elizabeth Swanson to discuss her book, Human Bondage and Abolition: New Histories of Past and Present Slaveries

Cottage Conversation: April 25, 2019 with Harold Holzer to discuss his new book, DC Monument Men: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French

Bourbon & Bluegrass: June 1 & 2, 2019

Staff Spotlight: Favorite Cottage Photos

In the spirit of reflection at the end of our 10th anniversary year, President Lincoln’s Cottage staff picked their favorite photo of the Cottage, ever. Spoiler alert: there are surprisingly few pictures of children in Lincoln hats. See our top picks and why we chose them here. 

Tired of the Office? Make Your Retreat Unforgettable

Tired of meeting in the office? Host your next workplace retreat at President Lincoln’s Cottage!

Our award winning spaces and tours offer an unparalleled opportunity to meet the true Lincoln, and to take inspiration from his brave ideas. To learn more, contact the events department at










Support President Lincoln’s Cottage this Holiday Season

Since opening to the public in 2008, over 300,000 visitors have walked the floors, touched the railings, and sat on the furniture in the Cottage.We wouldn’t be able to share these experiences without proper preservation, restoration, and interpretation of this special place. Help keep this historic building open for the public by donating today.


News and Awards

  • Executive Director and CEO Erin Carlson Mast was a guest on the History, Bitches podcast to discuss Mary Todd Lincoln for her 200th birthday.


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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