• Born: February 12th, 1809, Hogenville, KY
• Died: April 15th, 1865 in Washington, D.C.
• Married to: Mary Todd Lincoln
• Children: 4
• No college
• Other occupations: Store Clerk, Rail-splitter, Lawyer, Congressman, Military, Store Owner
• Party affiliation: Republican
• Vice Presidents: Hannibal Hamlin and Andrew Johnson
• Burial site: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln, the backwoodsman from Illinois, came to the presidency during the “years of crisis” and the Civil War. He had served six years as a state legislator and two years in Congress but was known mostly for his debates with Stephen A. Douglas.
Lincoln was elected president with only 40 percent of the popular votes but an electoral majority. His first duties were to prepare for war. He called volunteers on April 15, 1861, and on July 21, Bull Run was fought.
He was a Republican and his years in office were to do much to solidify that party’s image as he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause.
He saw victory and defeat as the north and south struggled in a great Civil War. Through it all, he stood firm on the need for the people to be united as one nation.
Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It declared that slaves in the Confederacy were forever free.
Lincoln won re-election in 1864 as the Union Army moved against a Confederate Army that was growing increasingly weaker as a result of an effective Union blockade that limited supplies coming to the largely rural contingency.
The president’s Gettysburg Address showed that he had high hopes of reuniting the nation when he said, “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.”
With the ending of the Civil War, Lincoln had high hopes of pulling a divided nation back together again “with malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness to 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.”
This was not to be, for on April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. He was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.