As our 10-year anniversary of being open to the public fast approaches, we have reflected on major milestones as well as the daily service we provide to the public. President Lincoln’s time at the Cottage provides countless insights and inspiration for the state of national affairs today. So it comes as no surprises that on our daily tours, visitors ask questions about Lincoln’s leadership that are related to topical and other newsworthy items from today. This month, our feature article takes an in-depth look at a topic that has come up with our visitors in recent months because of attention it has received in the news: compromise. Specifically, the article discusses the nature of compromises made by our nation prior to the Civil War, and whether the war could have been avoided.
While the article looks closely at specific compromises, it’s also worth acknowledging that Abraham Lincoln venerated Henry Clay, the “Great Compromiser.” Lincoln even gave a eulogy to Clay as part of an event at the State House in Springfield, Illinois when Clay died in 1852. As much as he appreciated Clay’s leadership and saw the value of compromise to “steady the ship,” however, Lincoln also saw clearly that the compromises the U.S. had made on the issue of slavery did little more politically than kick the can down the road. Simultaneously, they led to grave repercussions to human rights. In one of his debates with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln lamented that unlike Douglas, Clay at least understood these so-called compromises were being made at great human cost, even acknowledging that slavery was “the greatest of human evils.” Each compromise was heralded as the final word on the subject, but as Lincoln noted, compromises were, “merely settlements of small phases of the question, not of the question itself.”
Interestingly, Lincoln made a point of asserting that agitation over slavery, “is not merely an agitation … to help men into office. No such agitation could call together such crowds … year after year, and generation after generation.” Each generation faces one or more such questions. May we face those questions with honesty and bravery.
Last fall White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in reference to Robert E. Lee’s decision to fight for Virginia “It was always loyalty to state first back in those days.” He also said that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” But what did loyalty mean with regards to state, country, and Union? Did every American reflexively choose state over country, no matter their personal ideological convictions? What did compromise look like for those who eventually chose state over country? Museum Program Associate, and PhD history student Curtis Harris explores these questions in this month’s newsletter article. Read Curtis’s piece here.
This February marks ten years of President Lincoln’s Cottage being open to the public — celebrate with us!
For the next ten months we’ll offer a variety of promotions and special reasons to visit for first timers to old friends alike. To celebrate 10 years, we’ll be offering tickets at select dates for only $10! (Stay tuned for further exciting deals and dates.)
Join us Monday, February 19th for our 10-year Anniversary and President’s Day when tickets are only $10. (Kids and Cottage members get in for the price of a Lincoln).
While we’re adding more tours, we still highly encourage you reserve your tickets ahead of time. RESERVE TICKETS NOW
Join us as historian Kate Masur, along with co-presenter and President Lincoln’s Cottage Executive Director, Erin Carlson Mast, discuss Masur’s most recent project, They Knew Lincoln. For more information click here.
When: Monday, February 26
Time: 6pm reception; 6:30pm lecture
Join us as Walter Stahr, along with Jared Peatman, discuss Stahr’s most recent book Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary, which tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s indispensable Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, the man the president entrusted with raising the army that preserved the Union.
When: Thursday, March 15
Time: 6pm reception; 6:30pm lecture
Annual Lincoln Ideas Forum: Friday, April 13 at 10am
Bourbon & Bluegrass: Due to popular demand, this year we’re hosting two events. Double the bourbon, double the fun: Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20
Did you just do a double take? Yes, that’s the Cottage in its brick, 2004 glory before the Capital Restoration project.
This month, in honor of the 10 year anniversary of the Cottage being open to the public, Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry takes us on a walk down preservationist memory lane. A two-part series, this month’s piece introduces us to Jeff’s 20 years in preservation, and how he initially got involved with the restoration project — he was an outside contractor — and how his love story with the Cottage truly began. It was a slow burn. Read the full article here.
In early January 2018, four staff members of President Lincoln’s Cottage were lucky to attend the American Historical Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The American Historical Association is the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions, and approximately 4,000 historians attended the four-day conference in Washington D.C. This year’s theme was Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism in Global Perspective. Read on for their reactions to panels on slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, and how they will apply what they learned to their role at the Cottage.
If you follow us on social media, chances are you have seen Juliana, arguably one of the tiniest (maybe cutest?) members of Team Lincoln. Her parents, Marc and Kimberly Goldwein often tag her in photos, flanked with her Lincoln doll. This month we explore how this young family, who live right down the street from Lincoln’s house, initially got involved and invested in President Lincoln’s Cottage. Plus they divulge their favorite neighborhood spots, and where they think Lincoln would have hung out on Upshur Street. Read the full article here.
Seventeen-year old Areet Roychowdhury, SOS International Summit 2017 alum, has unveiled “Project Unsafe” in his home city of Kolkata, India. A photography campaign raising awareness about gender discrimination, Areet credits the SOS Summit for inspiration. Areet traveled to DC for the Summit this past June and explained that he “presented India’s perspective on human trafficking. That was the best experience of my life.” He said, “The portrait idea came out of my trip to DC.”
The opening of Project Unsafe took place on August 5, 2017, attended by various VIPs including prominent photographers, Sujata Sen, CEO of Future Hope of India, Bruce Bucknell, British deputy high commissioner in Calcutta, Craig L. Hall, the US consult-general, and covered by various media outlets, including The Telegraph (Calcuta).
New to the Museum Store: A new face! We’ve added Frederick Douglass to our Hero Heads apparel collection. We hear he’s been doing “more and more” these days.
Celebrate his 200th birthday next month by picking up one in our Museum Store, or ordering one online.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.