originALs: Lincoln’s slippers

President Lincoln’s original slippers are on view at President Lincoln’s Cottage through December 2014.

Slippers-smallWhile Abraham Lincoln’s public image was defined by his signature stovepipe hat, his private, more casual nature is highlighted in the newest exhibit at President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC. Meetings at the Cottage were often impromptu and informal, and Lincoln was known to greet guests while wearing carpet slippers. An original pair of Lincoln’s own slippers is on public display in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage from July 1, 2014 through December 2014. The slippers are on loan from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, OH.

The slippers are the latest item to join “originALs,” a series of exhibitions at President Lincoln’s Cottage featuring original objects connected to President Abraham Lincoln that speak to the importance and complexity of the Lincoln story and relate directly to Lincoln’s time here at the Soldiers’ Home. Objects previously highlighted in the “originALs” series include President Lincoln’s personal briefcase, Tad Lincoln’s cherished photo album, and the Civil War diary of Private Albert Nelson See.

originALs: President Lincoln’s briefcase and Tad Lincoln’s photo album

President Lincoln’s original briefcase is on view from January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

The briefcase that held Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten notes returns to Washington, DC for a six month exhibit at President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home. While living at the Cottage with his family during the summers of 1862, 1863, and 1864, President Lincoln carried papers in the briefcase on his daily commute to the White House. An 1864 photo album made for Tad Lincoln by the 150thPennsylvania Volunteers, a company stationed at the Cottage during the Civil War to guard the Lincoln family, will also be on view in the exhibit. The briefcase and photo album are on loan from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL, and will be on display at President Lincoln’s Cottage through the end of June 2014.

This exhibit is part of “originALs,” a series of exhibitions at President Lincoln’s Cottage highlighting original objects connected to President Abraham Lincoln that speak to the importance and complexity of the Lincoln story and relate directly to Lincoln’s time here at the Soldiers’ Home.


originALs: The Albert Nelson See Diary

For the first time ever, the diary and personal belongings of Albert Nelson See, a soldier who guarded President Lincoln at the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, DC, will be on public display.

The original Civil War diary and personal artifacts of Albert Nelson See, a member of Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential Guard, will go on public display for the first time in history at President Lincoln’s Cottage this autumn. See’s eye-witness accounts detail President Lincoln’s life at the Cottage, Jubal Early’s attack on Washington at Fort Stevens, and the inner workings of the presidential guard. Visitors to the exhibit will discover an authentic perspective of Civil War life in Washington. The exhibit opens to the public on September 26 2013 in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage, and will remain on display until June 30, 2014.

This exhibit is the first in “originALs,” a series of exhibitions at President Lincoln’s Cottage highlighting an individual or small group of objects connected to President Lincoln that speak to the importance and complexity of the Lincoln story and relate directly to Lincoln’s time here at the Soldiers’ Home.

Click on the image to read an enlarged page from the diary!

Emancipation at 150

Emancipation at 150: The Impact of the Emancipation Proclamation is an anthology of the latest research on the Emancipation Proclamation from leading Lincoln scholars and government officials, jointly produced by President Lincoln’s Cottage and the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

UPDATE: Purchase an e-book version of Emancipation at 150:
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Download Emancipation at 150 for free (PDF).

The anthology includes the following essays:

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Can You Walk Away? book

What is modern slavery? Who is vulnerable? What are the red flags? How can you help become a modern abolitionist? Can You Walk Away? is our ground breaking exhibit that illuminates the reality of modern slavery to our visitors. Now everyone has the opportunity to share that knowledge widely, thanks to our newly published exhibit catalog. Use this book to help advance the cause. Read it cover to cover. Share it with your community.

Available for purchase in our museum shop and online in our museum store.

For more information on Can You Walk Away?, visit: http://lincolncottage.org/canyouwalkaway.html

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

President Lincoln’s Cottage is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a variety of programs, including:

-The Emancipation at 150: The Impact of the Emancipation Proclamation, an anthology of the latest research on the Emancipation Proclamation, featuring the work of a dozen Lincoln scholars and government officials
-special Emancipation-themed tours of the Cottage, the very site of the document’s development offered every Tuesday and Saturday
-the first public display of an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln, on view in the Visitor Education Center through the end of April 2013
-Freedom’s Eve, a New Year’s Eve party honoring the tradition of Watch Night
-a panel discussion on the Emancipation Proclamation at the Cottage on January 3, 2013

This original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln, is on display in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

Courtesy: Seth Kaller, Inc.

Discover the Emancipation Proclamation at the Cottage

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.

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Rare, Original Copy of the Emancipation Proclamation on Display at the Cottage

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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.

Exhibits at the Visitor Education Center

The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center contains four self-guided, permanent exhibits: Wartime Washington, Lincoln the Commander-in-Chief, Lincoln Family at the Soldiers’ Home, and History of the Soldiers’ Home. Civil war prints and maps line the main corridor and interactive gallery in the Visitor Education Center, a sustainably rennovated 1905 Beaux Arts style building that was awarded LEED Gold certification in 2009.

In addition, the Visitor Education Center contains a special exhibit gallery that supplements the permanent exhibits. To learn more about our current special exhibit “Can You Walk Away?” click here. To learn about past special exhibits, read the archived list below: Continue reading

Lincoln’s Toughest Decisions Gallery

ScreenIn this innovative, interactive, award-winning gallery, visitors sit around a large wooden table, evoking Lincoln’s Cabinet table. The program allows users to explore digitzed letters, documents, and archival materials to help them decide how they, as a member of Lincoln’s Cabinet, should advise Lincoln during discussions about critical issues like the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, the military turning point of the Civil War in 1864, and the strategy for Lincoln’s reelection in 1864. Touchscreen technology allows visitors to select and magnify individual items on their desktop.

The experience may be adapted for visitors of all ages and may be used individually or booked as a group program. This gallery received the American Association of Museums 2008 Silver MUSE Award for outstanding interactive media.