Lincoln warned the South in his Inaugural Adress: "In you hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you... You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it."
Lincoln thought secession illegal, and was willing to use force to defend Federal law and the Union. When Confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter and forced its surrender, he called on the states for 75,000 volunteers. Four more slaves states joined the Confederacy but four remained within the Union. The Civil War had begun.
The son of a Kentucky frontiersman, Lincoln had to struggle for a living and for learning. Five months before recieving his party's nomination for President, he sketched his life: "I was born Feb 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all."
Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois. He was a captain in the Black Hawk War, spent eight years in the Illinois legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. His law partner said of him, "His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest."
He married Mary Todd, and they had four boys, only one of whom lived to maturity. In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860.
As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.
Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Lincoln won re-election in 1864, as Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. In his planning for peace, the President was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms and join speedily in reunion.
The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds.... "
On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South. The opposite was the result, for with Lincoln's death, the possibility of peace with magnanimity died.
- Presidential Number: 16th
- Years he was President: 1861~1865
- State Represented: Illinois
- Party Affiliation: Republican
- Facts: He had to struggle for a living. Lincoln's Mom died when he was 9. He loved to read.
- Birthday: Febuary 12, 1809, Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky
- Schools Attended: Did Not attend college, but read at home.
- Wife: Mary Todd Lincoln
- Occupations Before Elected President: Store clerk, rail-splitter, lawyer
- Other Ways He Served: Congressman
- Height: 6 feet 4 inches, tallest president
- Favorite Foods: Fruit Salad, Cheese, Crackers
- Hobbies Or Sports: Walking, Wrestling
- Pets: Horse
- How would he have traveled? Horse and Carriage, Train
- How would he have communicated with his friends? Letter, Telegram
- U.S. Population When Term Began: 31,443,321
- Number Of Stars On Flag When He Left Office: 36
- Sixteenth President
- Died: April 15, 1865. Lincoln died in the morning after being shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.
- Lincoln was seeing the play "Our American Cousin" when he was shot.
- Lincoln was the first president to have a beard while in office.
- Lincoln, Nebraska was named after Abraham Lincoln.
- Abe Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died when the family dairy cow ate poisonus mushrooms and she drank the milk.
- A plot was developed to steal Lincoln's body, so a secret society to guard his tomb was formed.
- During the Civil War, telegraph wires were strung to follow the action on the battlefield. But there was no telegraph office in the White House, so Lincoln went across the street to the War department to get the news.
- Lincoln once had a dream right before the fall of Richmond that he would die. He dreamt that he was in the White house, he heard crying and when he found the room it was coming from he asked who had died. The man said the President. He looked in the coffin and saw his own face. A week later Lincoln died.
- Lincoln was shot on Good Friday.
Four Score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, concieved in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal"
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so concieved, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow, this ground-- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
This is also quite a nice quote by Abraham Lincoln - " Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt."