October 2020 Newsletter



Dear Friends,

Voting by mail, civil unrest, debates filled with half-truths and lies, profound grief over hundreds of thousands of lives lost, questions about peaceful transitions of power, election-year Supreme Court nomination picks: so much of what we’re experiencing in our democracy has an analog in Lincoln’s political life.  We must understand our past–in all its complexity–to safeguard our democratic republic and emerge from the present challenges without sacrificing freedom, justice, and representation.  How do we do that?  We do that with empathy, humanity, and strength of character.

Later this month, we will hold our annual Lincoln Ideas Forum. While we normally gather in person, in April we had to postpone the event and move it online.  We hope that means more of you can join us.  The theme is unchanged: “Presidential Character.” Of Lincoln’s character, Robert Ingersoll famously said in 1895, “Nothing discloses real character like the use of power. It is easy for the weak to be gentle. Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test. It is the glory of Lincoln that, having almost absolute power, he never abused it, except on the side of mercy.”  We will explore various dimensions of presidential character with our friends from other U.S. Presidential history organizations.  It promises to be an interesting discussion with plenty of time for your questions.

Lastly, if you see the value in this work, please consider supporting President Lincoln’s Cottage today.  We remain the only National Monument in the country that receives no federal operating support and are challenged as so many are right now.  Your gift is essential to us.  Together, we can save the Cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation, seek the truth about the past, and continue the fight for freedom.

With appreciation,



What do You Call a Four-Peat?

Thanks to the Washington City Paper for nominating us and to all of you who voted. Please see the full list of winners here.

Groundbreaking Exhibit on Grief and Child Loss Opening Soon at President Lincoln’s Cottage

Later this fall, President Lincoln’s Cottage will open Reflections on Grief and Child Loss, a first-of-its-kind exhibit that brings light to the experience of child loss across time and experience. This exhibit will bridge the Lincolns’ grief with modern families who have lost children inexplicably or from illness, disease, physical and gun violence. The exhibit will remain open for at least two years.  Learn more.

Tickets Available for our Upcoming 2020 Virtual Lincoln Ideas Forum

Join us on October 29th from 1:00-2:30pm as we discuss presidential character with moderator Andrew Marshall and guest speakers Janet Tran of the Ronald Reagan Foundation, Allison Wickens of Mount Vernon, and Mark Lawrence of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Tickets available here.

Preservation Spotlight: The Vestibule Project

Here’s a sneak peek at the final phase of our vestibule restoration project. No, the faux grained wainscot on the walls is not going to be orange and peach colored as in photo 1. This is the base coat for the walnut and oak graining as applied by Jacintha Clark of Johnson and Griffiths Studio in photos 2 and 3. Clark, and principal Jeff Johnson, have been repairing the plaster and working to reproduce all of the Lincoln era decorative finishes in the vestibule since late June.

Daily Offerings in October

Through the month of October, we are offering our new outdoor experiences from Thursday-Monday.  For the latest tour schedule click here.

Note that we are now offering picnic tables for rent.  Click here to reserve.

In addition, we have extended our social studies program through October.  Click here for more.


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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