BookTV: An International History of the American Civil War

Don Doyle talked about his book The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War, in which he recounts the global reaction to the Civil War. In his book, the author reports that the North and South engaged foreign diplomats to promote their cause, the North to prevent foreign interference and the South to gain support. He also said the war viewed as a test of the democratic model, with many monarchies hoping for a dissolution of the Union, which would temper other democratic movements around the world. Professor Doyle spoke with Sidney Blumenthal, former aide to President Clinton. 

C-SPAN covered this program at President Lincoln’s Cottage for BookTV. Watch online.

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Anti-Serious: The Cottage That Served as the Lincoln Family Home

“The cottage itself is a simple home – especially when compared to the surrounding stone structures (one of which looks like a castle) of the Armed Forces Retirement Home – with the usual complement of rooms in the upper and lower floors, and a porch.

What sets it apart from all those other monuments and memorials is that it is almost completely bare. Save for a few chairs and tables, the rooms are empty. And this, oddly enough, turns out to be Lincoln’s Cottage’s strength.

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It allows your imagination to fill in the gaps and ease into the time Lincoln must have paced these rooms mulling over the war that gripped the country; or sat out on the porch with his breakfast looking on to the grassy expanse dotted with soldiers’ tents as his eyes settled on the horizon and on the Capitol that was being built; or received guests and favor-seekers who followed in his path when they found he’d left the White House for the cottage.” Read the full article.

The National Journal: D.C. Landmarks

“From June to November, President Abraham Lincoln would live three miles away from the White House at this small cottage. It was here that he worked on the Emancipation Proclamation. According to the National Park Service, Lincoln visited the cottage up until the day before his death. The cottage opened to the public just seven years ago, in early 2008.” Read the full article here.

2015 Leadership in History Award

LeadershipInHistory_004President Lincoln’s Cottage is honored to announce that the Visitor Experience Re-Vision (VERV) received a 2015 Leadership in History award from the American Association for State and Local History, the highest honor awarded by the organization. This new, interactive technology enhanced the Cottage tour experience by offering guides the opportunity to curate tours to group interests in real time, with the aid of resource-rich tablets and dynamic multimedia.

An array of new features, such as crisp, high-quality visuals, audio recordings of never-before-told stories, scents, “windows into the past” and a dramatic presentation on wartime Washington, creates an evocative, sensory experience for visitors. The VERV enhancements are made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Learn more about the AASLH Leadership in History award: http://blogs.aaslh.org/aaslh-announces-2015-leadership-in-history-award-winners/.

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: http://blog.preservationnation.org/2015/04/23/i-see-the-president-lincoln-ideas-forum-abraham-lincoln-legacy/#.VTpK6JPznOg.

Watch a video of this program.

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: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tributes-begin-as-washington-marks-150-years-since-lincolns-assassination/2015/04/13/3a7787fa-e203-11e4-905f-cc896d379a32_story.html

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.’

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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: http://www.npr.org/2015/04/10/398334446/meet-the-capital-dames-civil-war-washington-s-secret-power-brokers

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: http://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/rememberence-and-reflection-on-the-anniversary-of-lincolns-assassination/2015/04/09/ffa8856a-d97f-11e4-8103-fa84725dbf9d_story.html.