Happy new year from all of us at President Lincoln’s Cottage!
160 years ago, on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, calling for an end to slavery in those parts of the United States that were in rebellion. It was one of the most momentous milestones in world history, changing this country forever and moving us toward a more perfect union.
So, January at the Cottage always provokes reflections on the continuing impact of Lincoln’s legacy and the ongoing struggle for freedom here and around the world. Just as we ask our visitors what they consider the defining issues of our time, we evaluate all we have seen and heard over the course of the last year and recalibrate our efforts to bring our brave ideas into reality.
2023 will bring many brave ideas forward at the Cottage. We continue to preserve this special place and bring the true spirit of the Lincolns to life for visitors 362 days a year. With support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we are repointing much of the mortar in the Cottage’s basement to keep water out. We are creating a new game to teach school-aged children about the roles and responsibilities within our democracy. We have begun recruiting participants for the 10th Annual Students Opposing Slavery International Summit from June 25 to July 1. And, in the coming weeks, we will begin recruiting local college students to help conduct our Community Cultural Assets Mapping Project, designed to deepen our understanding of the needs and aspirations of our neighbors.
Indeed, brave ideas are already afoot, transforming the Cottage. Yesterday West African contemporary artist Georges Adéagbo began to install his multi-faceted, three-dimensional portrait of Lincoln in the Cottage. The installation titled Create to Free Yourselves: Abraham Lincoln and the History of Freeing Slaves in America is transforming the Cottage into a work of contemporary art and inviting visitors to discover new aspects of Lincoln’s legacy and impact. Two art students from Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Art are working each day with Georges on the installation process.
This special exhibition is a collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, and it will be open to the public from January 17 through February 15, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm with self-guided tours on the hour. I hope you will join us to experience the Cottage in this unique and transformed state.
Are you ready to witness the transformation? Georges Adéagbo has arrived at President Lincoln’s Cottage and is beginning his site-wide art installation, Create to Free Yourselves: Abraham Lincoln and the History of Freeing Slaves in America. The installation, which will run January 17th through February 15th, will explore themes of freedom and bondage in vignettes throughout the Cottage comprising sculpture, assemblages, and handcrafted signage. Bring a friend to join us for this cross-cultural aesthetic experience!
How did Lincoln’s love of science change the nation? Join President Lincoln’s Cottage for our next VIRTUAL Scholar Session to delve into this underexplored topic. Historian David J. Kent will be discussing his new book, Lincoln: The Fire of Genius; How Abraham Lincoln’s Commitment to Science and Technology Helped Modernize America with Michael Atwood Mason, our CEO & Executive Director.
Join us in-person this summer for a special 10th anniversary international summit for our award-winning Students Opposing Slavery program. For a week in late June, youth and young adult participants engage with survivors of modern slavery, professionals working to combat human-trafficking, and each other, to create their own campaigns to raise awareness and get others involved in the fight against slavery. Students will leave the program with friends from around the world and a pathway to making a difference.
Lodging and meals provided, full scholarships are available, and community service hours will be granted.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.