July 2018 Newsletter



Dear Friends,

Welcome to our July issue of The Proclamation! Every July, we consider the work Lincoln was immersed in while living here at the Cottage. Whether he was developing the Emancipation Proclamation, contemplating major battles on the field, or looking at his bleak prospects for reelection, he spent his time here wrestling with fundamental ideas about our democracy in the heat of the summer. We’re pleased to display a series of original documents focused on these bedrock American ideals that inspired Lincoln, including a letter in which Lincoln points to the importance of voting, and a 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence.

At heart, we’re a historic site very much embedded in the Washington, DC community, but we’re also a National Monument and attraction for people around the world. This dichotomy embodies the local, national, and international flavor of what attracts people to President Lincoln’s Cottage. We draw students from across the country, but the majority of the 5,000 students we serve each year are from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. They never cease to inspire us with their thoughtful, hard-hitting questions, such as ten questions they have asked our team about slavery. Nationally, we recently wrapped up a week-long Teacher Fellows workshop, welcoming educators from across the country.

Supporting educators is a key part of our efforts to ensure communities are getting the best resources to teach our nation’s toughest stories. To thank teachers, we’re offering a discounted admission day in August, just in time to get inspired for the 2018/2019 school year.

On the international front, we’re pleased to feature an article about President Lincoln and the Middle East and Northern Africa. Limited though his understanding was, it attracted his attention. We also were pleased to receive international coverage via CNN and were featured in the “Lincoln in America” episode of Kurdish Rudaw Media Network.

Summer also means preparation for the fall, and that means the Freedom 5K race and Family Day event, once again brought together as a full day of events we like to call “Homecoming.”

We hope you can join us!


A Noble Dream: Abraham Lincoln and the Middle East

Abraham Lincoln never visited the Middle East, but several key events in the region shaped the foreign policy of his administration. In this month’s newsletter, Dr. Jason Silverman, Chair of the President Lincoln’s Cottage’s Scholarly Advisory Group, writes about how Lincoln’s State Department dealt with rogue missionaries, Confederate officials, Egyptian mercenaries and other issues. Click here for the full article.

Team Lincoln Spotlight: Seth Kaller

Starting this July, President Lincoln’s Cottage will display a rare July 11, 1776 Declaration of Independence printing by John Holt. The July 11, 1776 Declaration of Independence comes from a private collector, courtesy of Seth Kaller, Inc.

To kick off our month of displaying the important piece we interviewed Seth Kaller, the namesake behind Seth Kaller, Inc. to talk collections, how he “stumbled upon” the Declaration of Independence, and of course, Lincoln.

Read the interview here.






WHEN: Saturday, September 22

For the second time, we’re combining our two popular events, the Freedom 5K and Family Day, into one full day of racing and family fun: Homecoming. During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year we welcome everyone back “home” to join us for a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln.

While entrance is FREE, we do ask that you register.

Click here to register and for more details.


Attention runners, joggers, and walkers! Registration is still open for our fifth annual Freedom 5K on September 22. The race starts at 9 AM, and kicks off our entire day of family fun, Homecoming.

Traverse a pastoral landscape that winds past ponds, fields, historic buildings, and vistas on this breath-taking course. The run culminates on the foot of the lawn at President Lincoln’s Cottage, where a ceremony will take place. The annual Freedom 5K is an exclusive opportunity for members of the public to race through the 250-acre grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home – home to hundreds of veterans– in Northwest Washington, DC. Proceeds and donations from the run support the mission of President Lincoln’s Cottage, a private nonprofit organization. Prizes for the top three men and women include memberships, tour vouchers, and even free tickets to our most popular Bourbon & Bluegrass event.

Click here for more information on the race.

WHEN: Saturday, September 22 TIME: 9 AM

COST: $35 until online registration closes on September 20 at 8:00 pm, then will be $40 through race day. REGISTER TODAY. 


This year marks 10 years of President Lincoln’s Cottage being open to the public — celebrate with us!

To celebrate 10 years, we’ll be offering tickets at select dates for only $10.

Next month we’re welcoming teachers back! If you’re a teacher, you’re eligible for the $10 admission day on Monday, August 13. If you attended our Teacher Fellows week, you may attend for FREE on Monday, August 13, and any of your guests are eligible for the $10 admission.


WHEN: Monday, August 13

WHO: Teachers

Staff Spotlight: 10 Questions Students Ask About Slavery

Working at a Civil War site, you can encounter some tough questions. Working with kids in general, you can encounter some tough questions. What happens when you combine the two?

We polled our Museum Program Associates, who lead tours, work with school groups, and have the pleasure of fielding these tough questions every day. They were asked: What questions have students asked about slavery? How did you respond? Read the list here.








Preservation Update: VEC Windows and Doors Project Complete

A year after first beginning, a project on the doors and windows of the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center concluded this month. Read Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry’s account of how we determined what colors to paint the trim, the challenges of faux graining, and why the Visitor Education Center does not represent any particular time period.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Lincoln the Lawyer

Did you know Lincoln once represented a slave owner? Did you know he had a case before the Supreme Court? To honor both Lincoln’s noble profession — July was lawyer month at the Cottage — and our 10-year anniversary, we created a list of  “Ten Things You Did Not Know about Lincoln the Lawyer.”

Special thanks to Museum Program Associate Blake Harris for curating the list. Read it here.

Interested in Lincoln’s law career? Be sure to check out an original letter to Peach Quinn Harrison from Abraham Lincoln on loan from Jorge Roldan and Family. (Number 9 on the list!) In the last murder case of his 25-year career as a trial lawyer, Abraham Lincoln defended Peachy Quinn Harrison. In the letter, dated November 3, 1859, Lincoln responded to Harrison by encouraging him to vote for the man who once prosecuted him.



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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