March Newsletter



Dear Friends,

As part of our celebration of Women’s History Month in this issue, we are highlighting Mary Lincoln and what this place meant to her.  We are also remembering our dear friend, Ms. Gwen Hendly, who passed away this month three years ago.  She was a distinguished veteran of the United States Army and a long-time volunteer at President Lincoln’s Cottage.  We are honored to share a poem in this issue about Ms. Gwen written by our friend Mr. George Wellman, himself a distinguished veteran.

We are fortunate that the Cottage sits on a campus that continues to serve the same purpose it had in President Lincoln’s time—it’s home to hundreds of retired U.S. Veterans.  Their well-being and the well-being of our team, visitors, and community are a top priority. As the situation with coronavirus develops, I can assure you that we are working closely with our partners on prevention, planning, and monitoring.  We are following the guidance of local health officials and the CDC, working closely with our key partners, and taking preventative measures to keep the site clean and safe.  As the only National Monument in the country that receives no federal operating support, we often find ourselves in unique situations and unchartered waters.  With the help and support of our friends, we always find a way.

With appreciation,


Thank you for your support,


Groundbreaking Exhibit on Grief and Child Loss is in Development


After the death of Willie Lincoln in 1862, the Lincolns sought a more private place to grieve the loss of their son – the second of their four boys to die from an illness in childhood. So they moved to the Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home.

The Cottage provided a place of quiet where they could grieve and heal. We are honoring the legacy of the Cottage as a place of reflection and healing in our upcoming Grief exhibit, the first of its kind For more information or for sponsorship opportunities, please email Director of Development Jason Molihan at

Til Tomorrow

A poem to honor Gwendolyn Hendly

During this Women’s History Month, we join George Wellman in honoring our friend Gwen, a distinguished veteran and favorite neighbor at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, whose infectious smile and mischievous giggle brightened our days and whose service to this country inspired us.

AFRH residents and PLC volunteers Gwen Hendly and George Wellman

Store Spotlight: A Custom Candle to Honor Mary Lincoln

This Women’s History Month, we are pleased to introduce Serenity, a candle in memory of Mary Lincoln that we have created with  Amina Ahmed from Handmade Habitat.  Serenity is one of three custom candles we are selling exclusively through the Cottage store.

Serenity: A scent of lavender, chamomile, geranium, and bergamot promote peace and solace in memory of Mary Lincoln, a first lady, and mother of great strength.

While our museum may be called President Lincoln’s Cottage, we are always aware that this was also Mary Lincoln’s home. It provided her with the space she needed to heal and strengthen during a time of grief following the death of Willie Lincoln and evolved into a place of comfort and joy. For more information about Mary Lincoln, we recommend this video which includes an interview with another woman of fortitude, our Executive Director and CEO, Erin Carlson Mast.


Cottage Conversation: Confederate Statues and Memorialization

  • Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 6:30-8:30pm

Join us as Catherine Clinton discusses her new book, Confederate Statues and Memorialization, with historian Jim Downs. The book is itself a conversation between Clinton and other experts that delves into issues surrounding memorialization, the proper role of public intellectuals, and the development of a national historic narrative.

Purchase tickets here.

Cottage Conversation: The President vs. The Press

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 from 6:30-8:30pm

Join us as Harold Holzer discusses his new book The President vs. The Press, which chronicles the endless battle between the White House and the media – from the founding fathers to fake news.

Purchase tickets here.

Lincoln Ideas Forum: Presidential Character

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 


Tomorrow (March 11th) is #MyFreedomDay

Did you know there are an estimated 40 Million people trapped in slavery according to the latest report from the International Labour Organization?

Please join us tomorrow in helping CNN raise awareness and this and other facts about modern slavery.

Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Post about modern trafficking or efforts to combat it on social media using the hashtag #MyFreedomDay.
  • Create a 10-15 second video answering, “What does Freedom mean to you?” and tag #MyFreedomDay for an chance to be featured on CNN.
  • As you post on social media, don’g forget to tag @LincolnsCottage on Instagram. Tag @SOSYouthSummit and @LincolnsCottage on Twitter. Tag @SOSSummit and @LincolnsCottage on Facebook.
  • Encourage the teenagers in your life to apply for our 2020 Students Opposing Slavery Summit (Applications are open through April 6th)


Mark your calendars for the most rollicking event of the year!

President Lincoln’s Cottage in the News


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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