Preservation Nation: ‘I See The President’- How the Lincoln Ideas Forum Expands Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s untimely death, President Lincoln’s Cottage created an array of programs examining the enduring legacy of his life and ideas, including a special exhibit, a live retracing of Lincoln’s horseback commute, a memorial tribute inspired by 19th-century mourning practices, and the first annual Lincoln Ideas Forum on April 10th.

Sept 2014 through April 2015 HM 757

Executive Director Erin Carlson Mast shared a recap of the Lincoln Ideas Forum with Preservation Nation, the official blog of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Learn more about the Forum, and enjoy a brief excerpt from Milton Shinberg’s presentation on the impact of the Cottage itself on Lincoln, in this blog post:

Washington Post: Tributes begin as Washington marks 150 years since Lincoln’s assassination

150th Anniversary of Lincoln's last vistit to his cottage - Washington, DC“The polished boots with silver spurs were placed backward in the stirrups of the riderless horse Monday, and a gleaming silver sword was hung from the black saddle.

Timeless symbols of a fallen leader, the trappings of loss marked the start of Washington’s 48-hour commemoration of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, 150 years ago Tuesday…

WaPo-DinaGutierrez-MattMcLainThe ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary began Monday with a reenactment of Lincoln’s last ride to his summer home, now President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home, on Upshur Street NW.

Members of the Army’s Old Guard ceremonial unit, the Metropolitan Police and Montgomery County’s Goshen Hounds made the trip with the riderless horse, which was led by a soldier.

The horse was the veteran, Sgt. York, who had done similar duty in the funeral of President Ronald Reagan in 2004, said Sgt. First Class Jeffrey Tyree. Sgt. York was decorated Monday with a gold, heart-shaped breast plate.

The commemorative ride, which started at Pennsylvania Avenue NW, began at noon and wound its way north to the cottage, which served as a refuge for Lincoln and his family during the Civil War.”

By Michael Ruane. Originally published by The Washington Post. Read the full article online:

Photos by Matt McClain for The Washington Post.

NPR Morning Edition: “Capital Dames” with Steve Inskeep and Cokie Roberts

NPR-cokieroberts-ariel-zambelich“It’s an overcast morning outside President Lincoln’s Cottage, a national historic site in Washington, D.C., and Erin Carlson Mast is struggling to open a pair of huge, historic wooden pocket doors. ‘When we began the restoration these had been closed for over 100 years,’ Carlson Mast, the site’s executive director, tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

Abraham Lincoln and his family spent summers at this cottage in the 1860s, making use of a retirement complex called the Old Soldiers’ Home. It’s uphill from the White House and thus much cooler in the summer — in fact, too cold for some.

‘The one letter we know he wrote definitively from here, he’s writing to his wife, Mary, and says that the housekeeper and the cook have grown so cold at Soldiers’ Home and want to move back to the White House,’ Carlson Mast says. ‘And he just ends with the simple question, ‘Shall they?’ So he’s in no hurry to leave.’


The recipient of that letter, Mary Todd Lincoln, is one of several Civil War-era women at the center of Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868, a new book by Morning Edition contributor Cokie Roberts.

Sitting in the cottage at a marble-topped table, Roberts explains how these women — who couldn’t vote and were considered to be their husbands’ property — exercised power in Washington.”

Read the full article and listen to the segment online:

Image by Ariel Zambelich for NPR.

Washington Post Weekend: Rememberence and reflection on the anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination

“On Monday, Lincoln’s Cottage will mark the anniversary of Lincoln’s last visit to the grounds by having a group of equestrians, including the ceremonial Fort Myer Caisson Platoon, ride from the White House to the cottage. (See map for the exact route.) The procession will ride in the middle of the street, so it can be observed from sidewalks or from two special vantage points, the Howard University Plaza and the Shaw Library Plaza, where there will be poetry readings and other interactive events.”

By Fritz Hahn, originally published for The Washington Post Weekend – Going Out Guide. Read full article:

Washington Post Express: Choose Your Own Adventure

“Next week, America will commemorate the assassination and death of one of the country’s greatest presidents. A man who, after winning a second term and a bloody war, was shot down in his political prime: William McKinley. Just kidding! We’re talking about Abraham Lincoln, who died 36 years before McKinley, has been given a prime seat on the National Mall and, according to at least one historical film, hunted vampires. D.C. will mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s April 14, 1865, shooting and April 15 death with a flurry of commemorative events and re-enactments. How will you remember his death?


1. Salute Lincoln on his last commute

To escape the distractions of the White House and the heat, Lincoln spent many nights on a bucolic hillside a few miles up the road. To commemorate his last commute home, a retinue of men on horseback will accompany one riderless horse from the White House to President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home. View the riders anywhere along the route. Mon., noon-3:30 p.m.

2. Enjoy a quiet evening at home

On display at President Lincoln’s Cottage is a wine goblet from which the president drank on his last night at home. While you’re there, visit a special exhibit on Lincoln’s security detail — or lack thereof, “Not an American Practice: Lincoln’s Life at Risk.” It explores the growing concern over the president’s safety, which he generally ignored — even after a would-be assassin shot a bullet through his hat one night while he was riding home alone. 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW; Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sun., 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., $5-$15.”

By Sadie Dingfelder, originally published for The Washington Post Express. Read the full article online:

ABC News: Events and Exhibits Mark 150 Years Since Lincoln’s Assassination

“April 15th marks 150 years since the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Historic sites, museums and communities around the country are hosting exhibits, performances and events to mark the anniversary. Here are details on a few.

AP-carriageVisitors to Washington have their pick of historic sites and museums connected to Lincoln… President Lincoln’s Cottage, on a breezy hill where he and his family escaped Washington’s summer heat 3 miles from the White House, will be draped in black April 18-30, just as it was 150 years ago. The president visited the cottage the day before the shooting, and the site, which offers regular tours, is also hosting two exhibits connected to the anniversary, one on presidential security and one on memorial objects.” -Beth Harpaz, AP

Read the full article:

Image: In this March 17, 2015 file photo, President Abraham Lincoln’s carriage is displayed at the National Museum of American History in Washington. Photo Credit: AP

DC Improv: Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln

grateful-american-lincolnWhen Abraham Lincoln was assassinated 150 years ago, he was watching a comedy. Did Lincoln die laughing? How funny was the president? Was he ever able to relax? All this and more in the Lincoln Death 150th Spectacular!

Guests: Erin Mast (5:00) is the Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, one of Abe’s favorite locations for getting away from it all. We met her there to talk about the president’s state of mind and find out about “Lincoln’s Last Ride” on April 13. Listen now: