November 2016 Newsletter



Erin Directors Photo

Dear Friends,

On the evening of November 9th, we kept the Cottage open several hours late to be available to the public as a secular, non-partisan place to peacefully gather and quietly reflect on what comes next for our deeply divided country. If nothing else, the story of Lincoln’s time here reminds us of what is possible when we’re a House Divided. Indeed, the Civil War contained some of the best and some of the worst episodes of our national story. Throughout the Cottage, we invited guests to reflect on different Lincoln quotes and questions we provided and to write what they will do to foster greater unity in our country. Over 100 people, children and adults, came through the site, leaving a wide range of poignant — and often pointed — comments. Taken as a whole, it shows that people feel a deep and abiding obligation to what binds us together as Americans. We have included some here to give you an idea of the positive action people committed to that evening.

With appreciation,


A SAFE PLACE FOR BRAVE IDEAS: November 9th Peaceful Reflection


On Wednesday, November 9th, the Cottage opened its doors after-hours as a place for peaceful reflection. Read more about the reason behind this event, and how community members reacted, here.


Giving Tuesday


WHEN: Tuesday November 29

TIME: 5 PM – 7 PM

WHERE: Petworth Citizen

First Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday! Join the movement by giving back to your community with a 24-hour day of online giving. This year the Cottage will be teaming up with Petworth Citizen for a special fundraising event on Giving Tuesday. 10{ec117f0059f8cde3a5e4f5b3c1b486659702d407977a37ffc575d2c0a9b4a69f} of all sales at Petworth Citizen that night will be donated to help preserve Lincoln’s Brave Ideas. Click here for more details.

Holiday Open House


WHEN: Wednesday December 7

TIME: 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM

WHERE: President Lincoln’s Cottage

Stop by the Cottage to view the Presidential Award, peruse our exhibits, and get a jump start on your holiday shopping with our beautiful, fair-trade items in the Museum Shop. Complimentary refreshments and holiday cheer provided.

LAST CALL: November is the Last Month to View the Ronald Reagan 1986 Act 


November is the last month to see the Immigration Reform and Control Act signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, at the Cottage. The Act, on loan from the National Archives until December 1st, is uniquely juxtaposed next to our special exhibit on immigration, American by Belief. The exhibit presents American immigration policy during the Lincoln era as well as contemporary stories from recent immigrants to the United States. Click here for more information on the Ronald Reagan Act.

COTTAGE CONVERSATION: Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln


On Thursday, November 10 author Charles Strozier and consulting public historian Susan Ferentinos discussed Strozier’s book, Your Friend Forever,  A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed. They examined the Lincoln and Speed friendship, as well as male intimacy throughout the Civil War, and over time.

CLICK HERE to view footage from that night.

PRESERVATION UPDATE: Broken Water Main on the Grounds


This month we wanted to confront the elephant — or back-hoe — in the room. For anyone who has walked past the Cottage in the past two weeks you might have noticed a large ditch and yield tape on the North lawn. On Thursday November 10th, President Lincoln Cottage’s staff were notified of a broken water main on the grounds. While the broken water pipe, six feet under the ground, is temporarily fixed, we’re still waiting on a proposals for permanent repair. Luckily there was no damage to any buildings on the grounds. The Home is dealing with the issue but keeping Jeff, our Senior Preservationist, informed.  Stay tuned for further updates.

 STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Thanksgiving with Lincoln


Civil War artist Alfred R. Waud sketched this Thanksgiving scene at a Civil War camp in 1861. (Library of Congress image)

For this month’s staff spotlight, it was only natural to focus on Thanksgiving — after all, Lincoln made it an official holiday! Click here to read about how Lincoln celebrated and our staff members’ favorite Thanksgiving traditions.



In honor of Veteran’s Day, The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Saving Places blog published an article about the Old Soldiers’ Home.

“Established in 1851, the Soldiers’ Home — today called the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) — was once host to more than 1,000 retired and disabled veterans. What’s more surprising? Veterans still live there today.” Read the full story here. 

Proud Students Opposing Slavery participant and International SOS Summit alum Abhishek Basu visited the Cottage last month to view the Presidential Award. Mr. Basu is currently a student at Washington University in St. Louis where he is studying political science and computer science.



  • In the wake of receiving the Presidential Award, many news outlets covered the honor, including the Imperial Valley News, The Dickinsonian, and a feature on
  • Local online outlets Petworth News and Popville reported on the Nov. 9th night of peaceful reflection.
  • NY Times included President Lincoln’s Cottage in its Petworth feature: “Petworth, Washington, DC: A Place of Porches.”
  • American History TV: C-SPAN’s American History TV will broadcast Candice Hooper Shy and Susan Swain’s conversation about Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives: Four Women who Influenced the Civil War for Better and for Worse November 26th, at 7 PM ET. Learn more about the program here.


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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