Abraham Lincoln

Abraham_Lincoln
Born: Feb 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, KY
Died: April 15, 1865 (at age 56) in Washington, D.C.
Nationality: American
Famous For: 16th President of the USA

Born February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was the second child of two loving parents. His birth occurred in a one-room log cabin in Hardin, County Kentucky, even though his father was one of the wealthiest men in the county at the time.

The Lincoln Family’s Hardships

Unfortunately, faulty property titles caused his family to lose all of their land in 1816, which is when they moved to Spencer County, Indiana. A couple years later, his mother died of milk sickness, which is when his older sister, Sarah, became the main caretaker. His father eventually remarried in 1819 to a widow who had three children from a previous marriage.

Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Lincoln took one year total of classes at school and taught himself through reading books. He also took up his chores around the house and became an axe man through building rail fences. His sister Sarah passed away in her 20s while giving birth to a stillborn baby and Lincoln started growing apart from his father.

Then, in 1830, the family moved to Macon County, Illinois, which was a non-slave state. The next year they moved to Coles County, Illinois, which is when Lincoln decided to go out on his own.

Marriage and Early Career

Lincoln experienced many romantic relationships throughout adulthood, but many of them did not last. Finally, in 1842, he married Mary Todd after breaking the engagement off one year prior. They had four sons together, but only Robert Todd Lincoln actually lived to be an adult and had children of his own.

The grandson, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, was born in 1904 and recently passed away in 1985. Both parents struggled with the loss of their children.

Lincoln’s career began at age 23 when he purchased a general store in New Salem, Illinois, with another person. Lack of revenue resulted in him selling his share, which is when he joined the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War. He served as a captain and returned back on August 6, which is when he campaigned for the Illinois General Assembly.

He did not win this, but became the postmaster of New Salem shortly after. Then in 1834, he became a state legislator and moved to Springfield, Illinois, to practice law with his wife’s cousin. After being admitted to the bar, he became a popular lawyer and served four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Lincoln’s Leadership and Presidency

In 1846, Lincoln won an election to the U.S. House of Representatives where he was the only Whig Party member from Illinois. He served a two-year term and then he turned to law, where he had many public causes go to court. Lincoln had always disapproved of slavery, and in 1854 he gave the “Peoria Speech,” which publicly announced his opposition.

After spending several more years in politics, he gave the “House Divided” speech, which started his campaign for senator. He did not win, but that did not stop his political career.

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected to be the 16th President of the United States. During this time, he led the U.S. through the American Civil War and began the movement to abolish slavery completely. He started his second term of presidency on March 4, 1865, and focused on reconstructing the South.

Then, on April 14, 1965, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater. The murderer, John Wilkes Booth, was caught 10 days later and was killed.

Lincoln’s Legacy

Lincoln did a lot of notable things during his political career and presidency, many of which are still found in leadership positions in America today. His life’s work can be learned about at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.