Abraham Lincoln Quick fact
Abraham Lincoln is the 16th President of the United States. He was the first president of the Republican Party, and was in power from 181 to 185. Lincoln, a staunch opponent of slavery, was elected president in 180 as a Republican candidate.
Born : February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky, USA
Elevation : 1.93 m
Killed : April 15, 185, Petersen House, Washington, USA
Political Party : Republican Party
Children : Robert Todd Lincoln , William Wallace Lincoln , Todd Lincoln , Edward Baker Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, A short Biography
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He preserved the Union during the U.S. Civil War and brought about the emancipation of slaves.
Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and is regarded as one of America’s greatest heroes due to his role as savior of the Union and emancipator of slaves. His rise from humble beginnings to achieving the highest office in the land is a remarkable story.
Birth and early life
Lincoln was born in February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky, United states to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The couple had two other children: Lincoln’s older sister Sarah and younger brother Thomas, who died in infancy.
When young Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died at age 34.The event was devastating to him, and young Lincoln grew more alienated from his father and quietly resented the hard work placed on him at an early age.
In December 1819, just over a year after his mother’s death, Lincoln’s father Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own.
The Lincolns were forced to move from Lincoln’s birthplace of Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana, due to a land dispute in 1817.
In Indiana, the family crouched on public land to scrap out a living in a crude shelter, hunting game and farming a small plot. Thomas’ new wife Sarah encouraged Lincoln to read. It was while growing into manhood that Lincoln received his formal education.
In March 1830, the family again migrated, this time to Macon County, Illinois. When his father moved the family again to Coles County, 22-year-old Lincoln struck out on his own, making a living in manual labor.
Young Lincoln eventually migrated to the small community of New Salem, Illinois, where over a period of years he worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster and eventually general store owner. It was there that Lincoln, working with the public, acquired social skills and honed storytelling talent that made him popular with the locals. When the Black Hawk War broke out in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans, the volunteers in the area elected Lincoln to be their captain. He saw no combat during this time, but was able to make several important political connections.
Lawyer and Politician
In 1834, Lincoln began his political career and was elected to the Illinois state legislature as a member of the Whig Party.
It was around this time that he decided to become a lawyer, teaching himself the law by reading William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. After being admitted to the bar in 1837, he moved to Springfield, Illinois, and began to practice in the John T. Stuart law firm.
In 1844, Lincoln partnered with William Herndon in the practice of law. Lincoln made a good living in his early years as a lawyer.
Children and Wife
Lincoln was married to Mary Todd on November 4, 1842. The couple had four sons – Robert Todd, Edward Baker, William Wallace and Thomas Tad. About a year after the death of Rutledge, Lincoln courted Mary Owens. The two saw each other for a few months and marriage was considered. But in time, Lincoln called off the match.
Lincoln served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849. Lincoln used his term in office to speak out against the Mexican-American War and supported Zachary Taylor for president in 1848. His criticism of the war made him unpopular back home and he decided not to run for second term, but instead returned to Springfield to practice law.
By the 1850s, the railroad industry was moving west and Illinois found itself becoming a major hub for various companies. Success in several court cases brought other business clients as well like banks, insurance companies and manufacturing firms. Lincoln also worked in some criminal trials.
As a member of the Illinois state legislature in 1834, Lincoln supported the Whig politics of government-sponsored infrastructure and protective tariffs. In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing individual states and territories to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. The law provoked violent opposition in Kansas and Illinois, and it gave rise to the Republican Party.
In 1857, the Supreme Court issued its controversial Dred Scott decision, declaring African Americans were not citizens and had no inherent rights.
President Abraham Lincoln
With his newly enhanced political profile, in 1860, political operatives in Illinois organized a campaign to support Lincoln for the presidency. On May 18, at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Lincoln surpassed better-known candidates.
Lincoln’s nomination was due in part to his moderate views on slavery, his support for improving the national infrastructure, and the protective tariff.
In the general election, Lincoln faced his friend and rival receiving not quite 40 percent of the popular vote, but carried 180 of 303 Electoral College votes, thus winning the U.S. presidency.
Following his election to the presidency in 1860, Lincoln selected a strong cabinet composed of many of his political rivals, including William Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates and Edwin Stanton.
Formed out the adage “Hold your friends close and your enemies closer,” Lincoln’s Cabinet became one of his strongest assets in his first term in office, and he would need them as the clouds of war gathered over the nation the following year.
Before Lincoln’s inauguration in March 1861, seven Southern states had seceded from the Union, and by April the U.S. military installation Fort Sumter was under siege in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. In the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, the guns stationed to protect the harbor blazed toward the fort signaling the start of the U.S. Civil War, America’s costliest and bloodiest war. Lincoln responded to the crisis wielding powers as no other president before him: He distributed $2 million from the Treasury for war material without an appropriation from Congress; he called for 75,000 volunteers into military service without a declaration of war; and he suspended the writ of habeas corpus, arresting and imprisoning suspected Confederate States sympathizers without a warrant.
From all directions, Lincoln faced disparagement and defiance. He was often at odds with his generals, his Cabinet, his party and a majority of the American people.
The Civil War, Lincoln said, was the ultimate test of the preservation of the Union created in 1776, and the dead at Gettysburg fought to uphold this cause.
Lincoln evoked the Declaration of Independence, saying it was up to the living to ensure that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” and this Union was “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Virginia, surrendered his forces to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The Civil War was for all intents and purposes over.
Abraham Lincoln: Assassination
Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, by well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
He was taken to the Petersen House across the street and laid in a coma for nine hours before dying the next morning. His death was mourned by millions of citizens in the North and South alike.
Lincoln’s body lay in state at the U. S. Capitol before a funeral train took him back to his final resting place in Springfield, Illinois.