Mrs. Laura Bush, a Trustee and vocal supporter of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, first visited President Lincoln's Cottage in November 2007 prior to our Grand Opening. Mrs. Bush recently endorsed our latest exhibit, Can Your Walk Away?, stating:
"This is the ideal year to visit President Lincoln's Cottage, the very place where Lincoln nurtured and developed the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago. The Cottage's current exhibit, Can You Walk Away?, provides an invaluable lens through which the public can view our country's ongoing struggle with slavery – both in the historical context and in present day trafficking. Exhibits like this are evidence of the way historic places can shape the way we live in the present."
We are grateful for Mrs. Bush's continued work to raise awareness about both historic preservation and the modern crisis of slavery.
Within the past decade, the Fair Trade movement has gained increased recognition. Today, the words Fair Trade can be seen stamped on products in markets, shops and even online. But what exactly does this term refer to? Who does it benefit? How does it relate to President Lincoln?
Every day, hundreds of thousands of individuals are forced to work in unhealthy and dangerous conditions at a pay rate that is far below modern legal minimum wages. The Fair Trade movement seeks to solve this problem by promoting higher wages and better working conditions for the producers of products commonly imported into developed nations.
Some of the most important Fair Trade items are those made by survivors of modern day slavery and human trafficking. Through Fair Trade, these victims now have a chance to protect their communities from slavery and violence through education and employment. In honor of President Lincoln's legacy, the Cottage is taking a very active role in selling Fair Trade merchandise, including survivor made goods. These items can be purchased in the Museum Store or on the online store. Each Fair Trade product comes with a brief description card about the company or organization and the artisans that created the product.
President Lincoln believed that all people could be self-made by having the opportunity to achieve financial success through their own free will. In the spirit of Lincoln's belief, the Cottage is proud to sell Fair Trade products in our Museum Store.
In December 2011, President Barack Obama declared January to be National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with all those wh5 are held in compelled service; we recognize the people, organizations and government entities that are working to combat human trafficking; and we recommit to bringing an end to this inexcusable human rights abuse.
Read the entire proclamation here