Join us as we welcome the Emancipation Proclamation to the Cottage!
President Lincoln’s Cottage will be the first public venue to display a rare, signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation recently purchased by David Rubenstein. This historic document will be on display at the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center from September 22, the date Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, through the end of April 2013.
Image source: Seth Kaller, Inc.
President Lincoln’s Cottage will be the first public venue to display a rare, signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation recently purchased by David M. Rubenstein. The historic document will be displayed in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage from September 22nd, 2012, the date Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, through the end of April 2013.
“Lincoln Cottage was where much of the Emancipation Proclamation was drafted and reflected upon by President Lincoln, and it thus now seems among the most fitting places for this historic document to be displayed to the public. I am pleased and honored to help make this possible,” Rubenstein said.
“We are extremely grateful to David M. Rubenstein for lending us the Emancipation Proclamation for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln first issuing it to the public.” said Erin Carlson Mast, Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage. “The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the foremost symbols of freedom in our nation’s history. By viewing this rare copy of the proclamation at the very site where Lincoln thought through these nation-changing ideas, visitors will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the global and cultural importance of what took place at President Lincoln’s Cottage.”
President Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation while living at the Cottage in the summer of 1862, making it the authentic place for understanding Lincoln’s ideas on slavery and emancipation. President Lincoln’s Cottage, the “cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation,” is offering programs, special tours, and events in partnership with national organizations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
The long-awaited exhibit on modern slavery in America opens to the public today at President Lincoln’s Cottage. Can You Walk Away? challenges people’s perceptions on this growing humanitarian issue at the very place President Lincoln developed his ideas on freedom in America 150 years ago.
Over 12 million men, women, and children are held in slavery across the globe today, more than at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. “Plenty of Americans see slavery as an issue that was resolved during the Civil War or by the 13th Amendment in the war’s aftermath, not as a growing humanitarian crisis in our own country,” said Erin Carlson Mast, Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage. “But fundamentally, the same issue is at stake: People’s right to freedom.”
To create this exhibit, President Lincoln’s Cottage partnered with Polaris Project, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC that focuses on eliminating modern slavery and human trafficking in the United States and around the world. Polaris Project operates the National Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) that has received about 45,000 calls since 2007. Worldwide Documentaries, Inc., and The mtvU Against Our Will Campaign contributed also content for the exhibit.
Visitors hear testimonies from survivors of human trafficking, learn about the state of slavery today, and have a chance to become a modern abolitionist and join in movement to stop this crisis. The exhibit is open through August 2013 in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage. Mon-Sat 9:30am – 4:30pm, Sun 10:30am-4:30pm. The exhibit is free of charge but visitor discretion is advised as the exhibit contains graphic content that may be too sensitive for some guests.
To read the AP article on the exhibit click here.
Visit the exhibit site: www.lincolncottage.org/canyouwalkaway.html
On February 17, 2012, President Lincoln’s Cottage will open Can You Walk Away?, an exhibit on modern slavery and human trafficking in the United States. This exhibit is part of a year-long commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln developing the Emancipation Proclamation at the Cottage. It will challenge perceptions of slavery in America today and raise awareness of a growing humanitarian crisis. By posing the question “can you walk away?” this exhibit will inspire people to engage with the modern abolitionist movement and to see that slavery is an ongoing issue that requires big thinking and direct action, just as it did in Lincoln’s time.
Can You Walk Away? will be located in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage from February 17, 2012 through August 31, 2013. Visitor Center hours are Monday – Saturday 9:30am-4:30pm and Sunday 10:30am-4:30pm. For more information, visit our website: www.lincolncottage.org
President Lincoln’s Cottage opened Seat of War: A Panoramic View of Civil War Washington Through Historic Prints early this month in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at the Cottage. This exhibit illuminates President Lincoln’s Civil War Washington through historic prints from our collection. It will run through the holidays and close on January 15, 2012.
By Zachary Klitzman
One reason President Lincoln moved to the Cottage was to escape the constant reminders that he encountered at the White House of the ongoing Civil War. But even here at the bucolic Soldiers’ Home, Lincoln could not completely escape the war. Looking just a few hundred yards to the northeast of the Cottage, the President could see the first national cemetery, with dozens of weekly burials.
View of the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery in 1864.
Opened in August of 1861 in response to the bloodshed of the Battle of Manassas, this cemetery, now officially called the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, lies adjacent to its namesake retirement home. Although the cemetery is not part of the standard tour at President Lincoln’s Cottage, visitors are welcome to explore the graves on their own.
By Sahand Miraminy
A sense of reverence was manifested as the renowned yet somewhat infrequently noted Lincoln Flag arrived to the grounds of President Lincoln’s Cottage. The large, bloodstained flag is in some ways evocative of the well known Shroud of Turin in that it conjures emotion, legend, and research, and is guarded for its integrity and character. The Flag has brought with it a sense of sorrow as well as pride. Many visitors have been impressed and surprised that the artifact has been preserved and saved. Curator of Education, Callie Hawkins observes that “It is a whisper worthy piece. There is something about it that inspires the public to partake in an almost hush, vigil like observance.” It is evident that the assassination of the President draws a great deal of curiosity and is still raw to many today. President Lincoln is oftentimes perceived as a martyr; his political actions and decisions regarding emancipation ultimately posed a threat during his life. We are still moved by the death of Lincoln because our ideals today have been heavily influenced on the decisions made during his presidency and time in residence at the Cottage.
In remembrance of the 146th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, President Lincoln’s Cottage will display one of five American flags that were hanging in Ford’s Theatre the night of the assassination. The flag will be on display for one week only beginning on April 11, 2011.
By Jeffrey Larry
Every so often a new discovery allows us to better understand not only what the Cottage looked like during Lincoln’s time but how it changed and looked at other times during its long architectural history. Recently we discovered a circa 1860 painted photograph of Janet Riggs, the wife of original owner George Riggs, standing in front of the north elevation of the Cottage. A digital copy of this photograph, from the Maryland Historical Society, will arrive in a few weeks so stay tuned for a future blog entry about this exciting new addition to our collection.
Another discovery, found during the interior restoration of 2007, was evidence of decorative painting, on the interior plaster walls of the vestibule that was made to look like walnut paneling.
By Erin Carlson Mast
The success our current bicentennial special exhibition My Abraham Lincoln has prompted the extension of the exhibit through August 1, 2010. The collections will remain the same with the exception of the Dr. Stone medical school diploma of The Leo Pascal Collection. Due to its fragility, it was replaced this month with a new item from the Pascal family, a board game from 1923 inspired by Lincoln’s path to the presidency.
- The Chicago Tribune’s Fireside Games, No. 3 Log Cabin to White House from The Leo Pascal Collection
“Log Cabin to White House” was the third game featured by Fireside Games in the Chicago Tribune in 1923. The preceding games in the series were titled, “The Game of Movie Stars” and “The Game of Fortune Telling,” indicating that these games did not focus exclusively on history and politics, but rather popular subject matter of the day. The Lincoln-inspired game was published, appropriately, in February of 1923 and was followed by “The Game of Jungle,” “The Game of Bank Directors,” and “The Game of School.” “Log Cabin to White House” is unique in the series in that it focuses on one person, loosely following a single life story, but is similar to the rest of the series in that it follows a theme of advancement or improvement of one’s condition, with various pitfalls and bonuses along the path to success. In this case, a player in the “Log Cabin to White House” game can benefit greatly from landing on spaces such as “Good to Mother,” while landing on a square indicating a major move, such as moving from Kentucky to Indiana, sends the player back to start. More interesting, perhaps, are the losses of turns for landing on the “held back by slavery question” and “awkward personality” squares. While the game is just that, a simple game, it serves as a metaphor for the two steps forward one step back, winding path that Lincoln took from his humble beginnings in a log cabin in Kentucky, to the White House in Washington, D.C.
“Log Cab in to White House” is part of the President Lincoln’s Cottage special bicentennial exhibit “My Abraham Lincoln.” It is on display courtesy of The Leo Pascal Collection. The game may be viewed in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center during regular visiting hours through August 1, 2010.
Ms. Mast is the Acting Director and Curator at President Lincoln’s Cottage.