Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He led the United States through the Civil War, resulting in a win for the Union and abolished slavery. He is one of the most well liked Presidents in history, and is very well remembered. Here, we take a look at an overview of his life, as well as highlights of his most important work as President.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. He was born in a one room log cabin in Kentucky. He was the second child of Thomas and Nancy Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. Together they had 4 children, all boys. Only 1 son, the oldest, Robert, lived to adulthood. One, Willie, passed away while Lincoln was President. This had an immense impact on him, and he struggled through his Presidency, coping with the loss.
3. President Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States in 1860. He was in office from 1861 until his death in 1965. He was elected to a second term, although he served very little of it before his assassination. Lincoln was the first Republican President.
4. Civil War
The Civil War started in 1861, shortly after Lincoln was elected. The war was started partially because of his election. None of the Southern states voted for Lincoln to be President. They were pro slavery, and succeeded from the United States just before Lincoln took office. Lincoln was the President through all but the last month of the war.
5. Emancipation Proclamation
One of the things Lincoln is famous for is the Emancipation Proclamation. This was an executive order that took effect January 1, 1863, that declared that all slaves were free. This did not actually free the slaves, as the slave owners ignored it, but it started the long process of freeing them. Lincoln made this order without knowing for sure if it was legal, under the constitution, but knowing that it was right. Afterword, he pushed very hard for the 13th amendment to pass, partially in order to ensure the proclamation would take effect and not be declared illegal.
6. Gettysburg Address
Lincoln’s most famous speech is the Gettysburg Address. This is the speech that begins with ‘four score and 7 years ago.’ He made this speech on the battle field of Gettysburg on November 19, 1883. In the speech, he stated that the Civil War was to uphold the ideals of the founding of the nation, that all men are created equal. He stated the abolishment of slavery as a war goal, and that those who died will not die in vain, but rather died fighting for these rights.
7. 13th Amendment
Abraham Lincoln’s biggest accomplishment was the passing of the 13th Amendment through Congress. The 13th Amendment outlaws slavery. Lincoln called for the vote to pass the amendment to move up to January 31st 1865. He spent much of his time lobbying for votes toward the amendment. It was his top priority after his reelection, and his largest legacy in life.
Lincoln never viewed the Confederacy as a nation of their own, but rather as rebellious states. The only option to him was for the rebellious states to rejoin the Union. He was very concerned with reuniting as a nation, and was careful not to alienate the south whenever possible.
Lincoln was shot on April 14th, 1865 at the Ford Theater while attending the play Our American Cousin. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. He died 9 hours later, on April 15th. His Vice President, Andrew Johnson, took over as President that day.
10. Legacy and Remembrance
The 13th Amendment was ratified and adopted as part of the Constitution on December 18, 1865, months after Lincoln’s death. Today he is one of the most famous and popular Presidents of the United States. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC is in his image. We have also put his image on the penny and the 5 dollar bill.
Learn more with these Abraham Lincoln websites.