The author is a homemaker and retired medical transcriptionist. She holds a Masters degree in English and loves to write.
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, was born on February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky, to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks.
As a child, Lincoln was an avid reader who devoured many books.
Even though he had a love for learning, Abraham was unable to attend school due to the large amount of labor required on his family's farm. As a boy he worked the land, felling trees, erecting fences, and plowing and planting the fields.
As years went by he increased in size and strength and grew to be exceptionally tall.
Lincoln was known to have a good, kind, and considerate heart. He read the bible often, but did not belong to any church.
Becoming a Leader
Lincoln spent his entire life teaching himself how to overcome tough obstacles. He taught himself how to be a skilled machinist, how to pilot a riverboat, and he even trained himself as a soldier.
Aside from learning to read and write, Lincoln was also a gifted storyteller and orator. As a young man he went on to teach himself law. He was able to become a lawyer entirely on his own.
Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. They had four boys who were named Robert, Eddie, Willie, and Tad.
Lincoln soon came to be a seasoned legal professional. People placed their trust in him when it came to making critical decisions.
As a consequence, Lincoln decided to enter the political arena, serving the state of Illinois in two capacities as a politician.
He ultimately campaigned for President in 1860. He was victorious. The United States of America chose him to be its sixteenth President.
Black people in the United States were slaves during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
The earliest slaves to reach the Americas were transported on slave ships from Africa. The Africans were kidnapped from their homes and then bought and exploited for labor by white people in the United States.
The Africans were not compensated for their labor and were required to follow the orders of their masters.
Slaves were deprived of their rights as an enduring crime against them. They were routinely subjected to harmful (yet exculpated), barbaric physical treatment inflicted by their white “masters,” in accordance with the rights they lacked.
Those Africans who attempted to flee were often apprehended and heinously punished. In the vast majority of instances, slaves were never allowed to go free.
Slaves relied on music for emotional support and consolation. They sung about the importance of freedom, hard work, and their own strong, personal convictions.
White people all across the nation were divided on the issue of slavery. There were many white individuals in the southern United States who wanted the black slaves to continue to work for free on their vast estates, but the majority of white people in the northern United States lived in cities and believed slavery was immoral.
Lincoln was an outspoken opponent of slavery, stating that it ought to be abolished.
In 1861, eleven southern states declared their independence from the United States. These southern states did not want to be a member of the Union because the majority of the population of the Union wished to abolish slavery.
The nation was plunged into a protracted and deadly Civil War. White families were divided as a result of their internal disagreements. Sometimes brothers fought on opposing sides in the same battle.
Some slaves managed to escape to the North and fight for their freedom.
A large proportion of the military population, Union and Confederate, were killed on both sides. The total number of deaths from the Civil War is estimated to be 750,000.
The Gettysburg Address
Lincoln officially abolished slavery in 1863, but the war persisted.
A few months later he delivered his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln stood on the very battlefield of Gettysburg, where thousands of soldiers had died in the fight to end slavery. In Lincoln's words, the country was established on the idea that all people should have the right to be free. People sat up and took notice of Lincoln’s powerful words.
After a series of long and bloody military engagements, the South finally surrendered in 1865. The North had triumphed. The long and dreadful struggle had come to an end.
Lincoln's Final Days
Many Southerners remained enraged even after the war ended. Their opposition to Lincoln as President is well-documented.
On April 14, 1865, Lincoln attended a play at the Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C. In the course of the performance, he was shot in the head by an agitator by the name of John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln passed away the next day. Booth managed to get away, but the assassin was later apprehended and executed for his crimes.
The loss of Lincoln was felt deeply by the people of the United States.
As his legacy, Lincoln abolished the practice of slavery in the United States. He restored the Union and left behind a free and independent nation. He handled a crisis that very definitely would have ended differently had a lesser man been in power.
Abraham Lincoln is one of the most beloved of all American Presidents.
Each year, a significant number of tourists go to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., as well as the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Barack Obama was sworn in as the first black President of the United States in 2009 using the same bible that Abraham Lincoln had used.
Usel, T.M. 1996. Abraham Lincoln: a photo-illustrated biography. Bridgestone Books, Mankato, MN.