January 2019 Newsletter



Dear Friends,

Several months ago, we developed a special experience for visitors inside the Cottage for the month of January called, “A Good Deed in a Weary World.” President Lincoln was well-versed in the works of Shakespeare, and plucking those words from The Merchant of Venice felt appropriate both historically and for our time. The program was inspired by celebrations marking the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as well as the widespread tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.

The Cottage is now glowing with little lights! The “good deeds” that visitors have left behind thus far range from the more broad or abstract, as in “Leave my country better than I found it,” to the more personal or specific, as in “Call my mom today.” You can read more about this special, illuminated experience in the Cottage below in this issue, and click here for photos. Thank you to all of you who visited the Cottage and added your own light.

What we couldn’t have planned for was the federal government shutdown. President Lincoln’s Cottage remains the only National Monument in the country that isn’t part of the federal budget, so our operations weren’t directly affected. But our neighbors were affected by the shutdown. So as a small expression of our appreciation and support, we committed to offering free admission to federal employees for the duration of the shutdown. Hundreds of federal employees visited and, as a result, took part in “Good Deed,” adding their light and their pledge to the Cottage.

“The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful,” so said Abraham Lincoln. And let us hope his example inspires us all to do good deeds in 2019.

With appreciation,


“A Good Deed in a Weary World”

January is a time for solemn reflection, bold action and new beginnings. While the Lincolns didn’t reside at the Cottage during this season, January plays an integral role in the Lincoln story. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, crafted here, became public and shined a beacon of hope in a war-weary world.

Join us for the last few days of a self-guided, illuminating tour designed for thought and reflection, while you set out to fulfill your own resolutions during this New Year. We hope that you, as Lincoln did, can also find a home for your “good deed in a weary world” here at the Cottage.

Please note: Our Signature Cottage tour starts back up on February 1st.

Find photos here. Read our own “Good Deeds” here.

Vote President Lincoln’s Cottage the “Best Museum off the Mall”

We’ve won for two consecutive years; help us defend our title!

The Washington City Paper has started its Best of D.C. Readers’ Poll for 2019 and we’re asking you — our colleagues, members, friends, and visitors — to help name President Lincoln’s Cottage as the “Best Museum off the Mall” again. Voting ends March 3 at 11:59 PM.

Voting is easy. It takes only a minute, but it requires you log in with your email and zip code.

Vote here.

Thank you for your support!






Join us for Presidents Day!

This February, celebrate POTUS 16 all month long at the Cottage. We’re offering a special Presidents Day program on February 18th for children. For $5, children can participate in a Lincoln’s Hat workshop where they will learn about the decisions Lincoln made and how he stored ideas on scraps of paper in his stove-pipe hat! For more details and to reserve a ticket, click here.

Black History Month Program

President Lincoln’s Cottage is teaming up with the Armed Forces Retirement Home for the annual Black History Month Program on February 22nd. The program’s theme will be “The Great Migration.” More details to come.

Cottage Conversation: Human Bondage and Abolition: New Histories of Past and Present Slaveries

WHEN: February 7, 2019

Join us as Elizabeth Swanson and Alison Friedman discuss Swanson’s new book, Human Bondage and Abolition: New Histories of Past and Present Slaveries, which tells the story of slavery’s expansion across the globe.

Reserve your tickets now.

Cottage Conversation: DC Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French

WHEN: April 25, 2019

Join us as Harold Holzer discusses his new book, DC Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French. (More details to come.)

Cottage Conversation: The Presidents

WHEN: May 23, 2019

Join us as Susan Swain from C-SPAN discusses the new book The Presidents, which is organized in the order of the results of C-SPAN’s 2017 Historians Survey on Presidential Leadership. (More details to come.)

Bourbon & Bluegrass: June 1 & 2, 2019

Staff Spotlight: Our “Good Deeds”

Before we launched the “A Good Deed in a Weary World” tour to the public, all of President Lincoln’s Cottage staff had the opportunity to participate. We each walked through the house, read, reflected, and wrote our “good deed” we hope to accomplish in 2019, then left them flickering upstairs for all to see. Read what we wrote here.

Grounds Passes, Now Available

General Winfield Scott statue, a hidden gem located on the lower grounds

Ever wonder what’s beyond the lawn surrounding the Cottage? Starting February 1, 2019, President Lincoln’s Cottage is offering Grounds Passes for purchase. The passes will allow guests to venture beyond the museum, and onto the lower grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, formerly known as the Soldiers’ Home. These 100 acres are littered with walking paths, fields, vistas of downtown Washington, D.C., a fishing pond, a golf course, statues and historic buildings. Details on terms and prices will be listed on our website.

Remembering Ray Colvard

Earlier this month we learned the sad news that long-time friend of the Cottage and Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) resident Ray Colvard passed away. Back in April we highlighted Ray for his 100th birthday. Read the tribute here.

Ray was active in the AFRH community, writing for The Bugler and The Communicator, two publications AFRH produced. A huge history buff, Ray focused on the history of the grounds. His office was even located where the Cottage staff library is today and his room at AFRH overlooked the Cottage. In his memory, we’re re-publishing a piece he wrote in the Fall Edition of The Bugler, October 1996, about the history of the grounds, titled “Historic Anderson Cottage Still Stands: No Thanks to Turn-of-the-Century General.”

Read the full piece here.

News and Awards


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