Abraham Lincoln is one of our most famous U.S. presidents. He is remembered most for helping put an end to slavery in America.
Lincoln was born in Kentucky on February 12, 1809. He lived in a log cabin with his parents and his older sister. Abraham’s younger brother died in childbirth. Abraham loved learning, but only had about 18 months of schooling. He walked for many miles just to borrow a book. Abe knew he wanted to be a lawyer some day. He’d walk very far to a courtroom where he watched lawyers at work. Abraham didn’t like to hunt or fish, but he loved wrestling. The sport helped him to become self-assured.
Lincoln worked as a postmaster and a shopkeeper. He was called “Honest Abe” because he was always fair and truthful. He once walked a long way to return six cents to a lady who had overpaid him. Abe didn’t go to college, but he studied hard and took the test to be a lawyer. He fulfilled his dream by passing that exam and becoming a lawyer in 1836.
Abraham married Mary Todd in 1842. He had a great fondness for children. He and Mary had four sons: Robert, Eddie, Willie, and Tad. Unfortunately, Robert was the only one to outlive his father. Abraham and Mary had one grandson.
Lincoln knew what it felt like to fail. He tried twice for a seat in the Senate, but was unsuccessful. He was an Illinois state legislator, and was appointed to the House of Representatives. Lincoln was a great public speaker who enjoyed debating important issues. He believed strongly that the U.S. should be one nation, but there was a threat that it might be divided into two parts-the North and the South. Lincoln opposed slavery and debated that fact with Stephen A. Douglas.
As a candidate for the new Republican Party, Lincoln beat Douglas in a race for U.S. president. He became the 16th president in 1861. The Civil War-a fight mainly about slavery- started weeks before Lincoln took office. Some states wanted to split from the United States, but Lincoln kept the country together. In 1863 he signed “The Emancipation Proclamation”, freeing slaves in the South. Ultimately, all slaves were freed. Lincoln gave a speech in 1863 at a Civil War battlefield. It was called “The Gettysburg Address” and is one of the most famous speeches ever made.
Lincoln was inaugurated to a second term as president. The North had won the Civil War. In 1865, right after the war ended, Abraham and his wife went to see a play at the Ford Theater. Unfortunately, a crazed actor named John Wilkes Booth was there and had planned something terrible. He didn’t like Lincoln’s political views, so Booth shot Lincoln. The president died several hours later. He was only 56 years old and was the first president ever to be assassinated.
Lincoln is honored each February on his birthday. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated to him in 1922. Every time we look at Lincoln’s image on a penny or a $5 bill, we can remember how lucky the United States was to have him as our 16th president.
Read more about Abraham Lincoln:
His life story: http://gardenofpraise.com/ibdlinco.htm
See pictures of Abe Lincoln: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/presidents-day/abraham-lincoln/photographs/
Facts about Lincoln: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/presidents-day/abraham-lincoln/facts.html
Timeline of Abraham Lincoln’s Life: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/presidents-day/abraham-lincoln/timeline.html
A chapter book biography of Abraham Lincoln: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/presidents-day/abraham-lincoln/biography/