March 2017 Newsletter


Erin Directors Photo

Dear Friends,

How does the federal budget affect President Lincoln’s Cottage? It’s a question we are asked anytime debate and press around the federal budget intensifies, such as during sequestration a few years ago. The questions have only intensified in the past week. We deeply appreciate your support and your concern.

It’s important to note that President Lincoln’s Cottage is a 501(c)3 public charity. That’s understandably a surprise to many people since we’re an anomaly — we are the only National Monument in the entire country that isn’t part of a government operating budget. We are here because concerned citizens came together several years ago and resurrected this history, which led to us opening to the public for the first time in 2008. We continue to be here because of individuals such as many of you who said, “If not me, then who?” and give.

That’s not to say we haven’t benefited immensely from competitive government grants we won or our partners won in certain years. We are deeply concerned about the proposed elimination of NEH, NEA, and IMLS. Their rigor and their cultural and economic impact is well-documented, and mirrors our own experience. President Lincoln’s Cottage would not exist as it does today, nor would many of our fellow sites and museums near and far, without them. With the combination of support we receive, we are able to engage a broader public in of-the-moment conversations, such as through our Lincoln Ideas Forum, and are able to use the lens of what happened here historically as a catalyst for change today, as with our award-winning Students Opposing Slavery program, now entering its fifth year.

We do this work quite literally on behalf of the government and the people, and it’s an honor to do so. What makes it a pleasure is having a citizenry that truly values its history, and invests in it accordingly. Once again, we join our colleagues and friends in advocating for that investment in the humanities to continue for a better future for us all.

With appreciation,



Unsurprisingly, Clara Barton, “the angel on the battlefield,” received many submissions

March is national Women’s History month, and to celebrate we’ve asked staff and members of our Scholarly Advisory Group to share stories about great Civil War women and their contributions to the war and history. Click here to read about them.


LINCOLN IDEAS FORUM 2017: Hate of the Nation

Join President Lincoln’s Cottage as we bring together experts, scholars, and the public in an exploration of injustice, division, fear, and hate, alongside the stories and ideas of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War for our annual Lincoln Ideas Forum. Speakers include Alex Nowrasteh (Cato Institute), Rebecca Barret-Fox (Arkansas State University), Seth Levi (Southern Poverty Law Center), and Laura Schiavo (The George Washington University), among others.

WHEN: Thursday, April 13

TIME: 1:30- 3:30 PM


Seats are filling fast! Reserve your ticket today.  


Join us as author Jonathan White and Michael Bishop of the George Washington University’s National Churchill Library, discuss White’s book, Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams During the Civil War.

WHEN: Thursday, April 20

TIME: Reception- 6 PM, Conversation- 6:30 PM

CLICK HERE for more info on the program and how to RSVP.


Join us as author and Pulitzer-prize nominated reporter Robert O’Harrow Jr. discusses his latest book, The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Meigs, Lincoln’s General, Master Builder of the Union Army.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 24

TIME: Reception- 6 PM, Conversation- 6:30 PM

CLICK HERE for more info on the program and how to RSVP.

PRESERVATION UPDATE: Architectural Paint Research Conference

A reveal of the layers of decorative painting found on the vestibule walls

President Lincoln’s Cottage’s Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry was in New York City last week attending the Architectural Paint Research Conference hosted by Columbia University. The conference featured conservators, experts in paint analysis and decorative painters from around the world presenting their latest projects and techniques as well as studies on the past use of paints and decorative finishes. For more on the conference and what this means for the Cottage, click here.

 STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Rolling out Staff Picks in Museum Store

Looking for a good read? Just ask our staff! This month we’re rolling out staff picks — keep an eye out for hand-written, short summaries and personal recommendations from staff on our Museum Store book shelves. Museum Program Associates Joan and Phoebe pose with their picks, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, and Mrs. Lincoln: A Life. For their full recommendations, click here.

Interested in purchasing these choices? Call our Museum Store to place an order: 202-829-0436.

COTTAGE MADNESS: And the winner is…

 Just in time for March Madness, we rolled out our own Cottage Madness. The title they were competing for? Best Civil War Name. We slotted 16 different names to battle head to head on Facebook over the course of a few days. And the people have spoken! To check out all of the brackets, the recaps, and to find out who claims all the glory of Best Civil War Name, click here.






CALLING ALL TEEN ABOLITIONISTS: SOS International Summit application about to close

Apply to participate in the 2017 International SOS Summit! Applications are due Friday, April 7. Download the application here.

During the Summit, participants will:
  • Continue Abraham Lincoln’s fight for freedom
  • Create an international network of young abolitionists to develop brave ideas around ending slavery in our time
  • Engage with modern abolitionists working to end human trafficking
  • Participate in off-site excursions that build teamwork and awareness around the modern fight to end slavery

This year the Summit will take place June 26-30.

“The fight against modern slavery has countless routes by which we can make a change, and that’s what I love about being a part of this movement.” – Natasha, 2013 SOS International Summit participant

BOOK YOUR NEXT EVENT: For “an unparalleled taste of historic Washington”

“If you want to give your guests an unparalleled taste of historic Washington, check out Lincoln’s Cottage.” – The Washington Post

Consider President Lincoln’s Cottage for your next workplace gathering! Our historic spaces and breathtaking grounds offer the ideal backdrop for retreats, meetings, and evening events. Contact for more information. For a full listing of our packages, click here.



Miss out on Bourbon & Bluegrass tickets this year? (You’re not alone — our ever popular event sold out in merely three days!) $100 Team Lincoln members enjoy an exclusive Bourbon & Bluegrass ticket pre-sale, two days before tickets go on sale to the public.

And that’s not the only perk. $100 Team Lincoln members also receive:

  • 10{ec117f0059f8cde3a5e4f5b3c1b486659702d407977a37ffc575d2c0a9b4a69f} discount on Cottage store purchases
  • 50{ec117f0059f8cde3a5e4f5b3c1b486659702d407977a37ffc575d2c0a9b4a69f} off admission for two at President Lincoln’s Cottage (multiple times throughout the year)
  • Early Registration for all public programs at President Lincoln’s Cottage

Join Team Lincoln today.

As always, your support helps us bring Lincoln to life through nonprofit preservation and education programs.



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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