October 2018 Newsletter




Dear Friends,

Election season is upon us. If Lincoln’s original election to the presidency was considered a long-shot, his chances at reelection were considered “an impossibility” by many during the summer of 1864. Why? According to Thurlow Weed in an August 22, 1864 letter to Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward, it was because, “The People are wild for Peace. They are told that the President will only listen to terms of Peace on condition Slavery be ‘abandoned.'” That entire summer is particularly intriguing — you have the “Blind Memorandum” in which Lincoln pledged he would accept the election results, whatever they may be, and work with whomever it is (assuming it wasn’t himself) for a smooth and peaceful transition. We know his intentions thanks to that memorandum being saved – it was written the day after Weed’s letter – but we’ll never know what would have actually transpired had someone else won. The tide turned and Lincoln prevailed on election day.

As Lincoln said, “It is not the qualified voters, but the qualified voters who choose to vote, that constitute the political power of the state.” The two-part statement rings no less true today. Not everyone living in this country has the right to vote. We know that. Some never had it. Some had it taken away. Others will eventually regain it or gain it for the first time, through age or effort. Suffice it to say, there is only a subset of our society who can vote and an even smaller subset of those who exercise that right. Voting is not a proxy for being an engaged citizen, of course, but it is a potent way to exercise individual power for the collective good. If you need inspiration or a place of reflection this election season, know you are welcome here.



President Lincoln’s Cottage Awarded Best Outdoor Venue by Unique Venues

We’re thrilled to announce that President Lincoln’s Cottage was awarded Best Outdoor Venue in North America 2018 by Unique Venues. Events Manager Sahand Miraminy had the honor of accepting the award in person at the Unique Venues conference last week in Portland, Oregon. Of course, we couldn’t have won this award without the support of our wonderful visitors, vendors, and clients, along with the thousands of event professionals around the country who cast their vote. Thanks to everyone who helped us claim the top spot!

TEAM LINCOLN SPOTLIGHT: A Day in the Life of a Historical Reenactor with “Bucktail Joe”

Joe Conroy at President Lincoln’s Cottage Homecoming celebration, September 22nd, 2018

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a historical reenactor? External Communications Coordinator Jenny Phillips chatted with Joe Conroy, long-time reenactor portraying the 150th Pennsylvania Company K to ask him just what it’s like. The 150th Pennsylvania Company K, also known as the Bucktails, served as Lincoln’s guard during his residency at both the Soldiers’ Home and White House.

How much does it cost to be a reenactor? How do you even get started in such a hobby? Read on to find answers to all your burning questions, including the one moment that brought a tear to Joe’s eye. CLICK HERE


November 8-11 – Museum Shop Holiday Market at Strathmore

November 11 (Veteran’s Day) – $10 admission day

November 14 – Two Faces Comedy night

December 6 – Cottage Conversation: The War for the Common Soldier by Peter Carmichael


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.

On Sunday, November 11, we’re honoring our military — and our Soldiers’ Home roots — by offering a reduced $10 admission to all members of the military.


WHEN: Sunday, November 11 (Veterans Day)

WHO: Military Members


Join us for the third and final night, where President Lincoln’s Cottage and the DC Improv transform Lincoln’s drawing room into a comedy den. November’s night will be an all-female line-up, touching upon #MeToo, and honoring Mary Todd Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The show takes place inside the Cottage at 7:30pm. Tickets are only $5.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 14


For more information on the event, click here.

COTTAGE CONVERSATION: The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies

Join us as Peter Carmichael, along with Adam Goodheart, discuss Carmichael’s recent book, The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies. 

Digging deeply into his soldiers’ writing, Carmichael resists the idea that there was “a common soldier” but looks into their own words to find common threads in soldiers’ experiences and ways of understanding what was happening around them.

WHEN: Thursday, December 6

TIME: 6 PM reception, 6:30 PM lecture

COST: $10 for reception, $10 for lecture



Staff Spotlight: Our Dream Visitors to the Cottage

President Lincoln’s Cottage is lucky to have welcomed a multitude of VIPs and celebrities throughout its ten years open to the public. While we’ve hosted Prince Charles and Camilla, President William J. Clinton, First Lady Laura Bush, First Lady of the Republic of Korea Kim Yoon-ok, Cabinet Secretaries Colin Powell and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sally Fields, Alex Trebek, and more, we’ve asked our staff to compile a list of dream guests who haven’t visited the Cottage, yet. A birthday dinner for the Obamas? A private tour for the Notorious RBG? Hey, a person can dream. Read our Dream Visitor list here. (Consider this an open invitation.)

Preservation Update: A Tale of Two Conferences

Recently, Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry attended the International Preservation Trades Workshop. Read his reflections for how this event differed from the Association for Preservation Technology Conference he previously wrote about.  CLICK HERE.

Museum Store Update: Strathmore

President Lincoln’s Cottage will once again be participating in the Museum Shop Holiday Market at StrathmoreNovember 8th-11th.

This holiday season, give amazing gifts that give back! Strathmore’s Museum Shop Holiday Market brings together the area’s best museum and cultural shops for a festive four days. Every present is part of a larger purpose as your purchase supports nonprofit museums and arts organizations in our community. For more information, details on the day, and hours of operation, click here.



  • Unique Venues awarded President Lincoln’s Cottage with Best Outdoor/Rooftop Venue in North America 2018


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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