Abraham LincolnHarrison Savage
Last picture of Abraham Lincoln before his assassination
Last picture of Abraham Lincoln before his assassination

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool
Than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."


When you think of Abraham Lincoln, very distinct pictures and thoughts come to your mind. He was the president who freed the slaves; he was tall and wore a top hat. However, there was much more to this man than what meets the eye. Lincoln was a brilliant man whose strategies, speeches, and ideas were beyond his time and possibly ours. But how can a boy born to barely literate parents in a log cabin become one of the most remembered and treasured presidents in America's history? He was a man whose mind, morals, and perseverance drove him to be one of the best presidents in the United States existence.


Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th, 1809 in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His father was Thomas Lincoln of Virginia, a middle-class carpenter who was well respected by citizens of his town. His mother was Nancy Hanks of Virginia. When Abraham Lincoln was just seven years old he moved from Hodgenville, Kentucky to Pigeon Creek Indiana. That is where the famous log cabin that Lincoln and his father built. It's still there to this day. When Abraham was just 9 years old, his mother passed away of "milksickness," which is caused by drinking the milk of a cow that has grazed on the poisonous white snakeroot. Three years after Abraham's mother died, Abraham's father married Sarah Bush, a mother of three other children. Before Abraham Lincoln had met Sarah Bush, he had very little schooling. However, Sarah saw the potential in the young man and taught him how to read, write, and do simple math.

This is the log cabin in Pigeon Creek, Indiana that Lincoln and his father built
This is the log cabin in Pigeon Creek, Indiana that Lincoln and his father built

In 1828 Lincoln took a trip to New Orleans and was appalled at the sight of thousands of black slaves being forced to work in in-human surroundings. Blacks were sold left and right and were treated like they were animals with no purpose. Lincoln grew up in a home that slavery was morally wrong and this was the first time he had ever seen slavery to this extent. Now he knew that slavery was completely wrong and he thought he had to do something about it to make slavery stop and free thousands upon thousands of black people.

In 1830 Lincoln moved to New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln was very well respected throughout the town and was frequently asked for legal advice even though he had never had any law school experience. While in New Salem Lincoln did very different and alternative things compared to his usual habits. He volunteered in the Black Hawk War, which is where Lincoln got his leadership skills. Lincoln barely saw any battle yet he was honorably discharged one year after joining the war. A couple of months after being discharged Lincoln opened a store which barely stayed open a year. After losing his business he decided to become the town's postmaster. The reason why people loved him so much in the town was because he would go above and beyond what was expected. If someone forgot their mail or a letter was sent to the wrong address, Lincoln would walk several miles to deliver the mail(which is where Lincoln got the nickname "Honest Abe."

In 1840, when Lincoln was 31 years old, he met Mary Todd. They were seen as the perfect couple and they were in love. However, Lincoln was too afraid of marriage and broke off their relationship. He slumped into a depression and his friends thought he was suicidal. Yet when one of his friends took away all knives, scissors, and sharp objects Lincoln said "Don't worry, I will not kill myself because I have not done anything in my lifetime yet, I have not accomplished anything." Eventually Lincoln gave in and decided to go through with the marriage in November of 1842.

The couple had a quant marriage and had four children. The first child was born on August 1st 1843 and his name was Robert Todd Lincoln after his maternal grandfather. Robert was the only one of Lincoln's four sons to live past their teenage years. Robert followed his father's footsteps into the profession of law and later became Secretary of War under James Garfield. The couple's second son was named Edward Baker Lincoln and was born on March 20th 1846. "Eddie" died on February 1st 1850 of tuberculosis. The Lincoln's had their fourth son WIlliam "Willie" Wallace Lincoln on December 21st of 1850. However, he died on Feebruary 20th 1862 of a fever. The Lincoln's fourth son was named Thomas "Tad" Lincoln after his paternal grandfather. "Tad" was also loved around the White House because he and his friends would often come into cabinet meetings and play games. Tad died on July 15th 1871.
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln, Abraham's fourth son at the White House dressed as a Union soldier
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln, Abraham's fourth son at the White House dressed as a Union soldier

Elections of 1860

The United States presidential election of 1860 set the stage for the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout most of the 1850s on questions of states' rights and slavery in the territories. In 1860, this issue finally came to a head, fracturing the formerly dominant Democratic Party into Southern and Northern factions and bringing Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party to power without the support of a single Southern state. Hardly more than a month following Lincoln's victory came declarations of secession by South Carolina and other states, which were rejected as illegal by outgoing President James Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln.

Campaign poster during the 1860 elections
Campaign poster during the 1860 elections

Abraham Lincoln was elected President on Tuesday, November 6, 1860. Each state chose a number of Electors by a formula based on the census of free persons. A bonus counted three-fifths of 'other persons' for states which had not yet abolished slaveryThe Electoral College met on February 11, 1861, and Vice President John C. Breckinridge, opening the ballots found Abraham Lincoln elected President by a Constitutional majority, 180 of the 303 possible.

Beginning of the Civil War

If there was going to be a war Lincoln wanted the South to start it and they did. On April 12th 1861 Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter. This was a bloodless battle; the only casualty was a confederate horse. This battle however was no indication of the war to come; the bloodiest war in American history. On July 21st 1861 Confederate troops defeated Union troops at Bull Run in Virginia. Therefore Lincoln replaces his current field commander with General George B. Mclellan. Only a few weeks late, McClellan was in charge of all Union troops. Lincoln got angry at McClellan from time to time because McClellan thought so highly of himself he would not obey Lincoln’s orders. On the seven days Penn. campagin Mclellan won six out of the seven battles; but retreated every time. Lincoln relived McClellan of duty, only to replace him again.
Self created image of Abraham Lincoln
Self created image of Abraham Lincoln

Although Lincoln said he would do everything it takes to bring the Union back together, whether it be to free salves, free none, or free some. Lincoln needed to free the slaves to show other countries such as England and France that the Civil War was about slavery, and therefore the other countries would not interfere. But Lincoln needed a victory to make such a proclamation and the Battle of Antietam gave him that. The Battle was nearly a draw but since McClellan stopped the Southern General Robert E. Lee from invading it was considered a victory for the North. McClellen could have ended the war right there if he had not been so cautious.

Lincoln Assassination

On April 11th 1865 Lincoln gave the speech that would kill him. In this speech Lincoln shared his platforms on African-Americans voting; in which he said he was in favor of. John Wilkes Booth was in that crowd they say and decided he would kidnap the president and kill the Secretary of State William H. Steward and Vice-President Andrew Johnson. On April 14th 1865 the Lincolns planned to attend a production of ”Our American Cousin at the Ford Theatre. However, Mary Todd Lincoln said that she had a headache and that they should not go. President Lincoln insisted there would be too many important people there and that they must go. So they went. During the second act Booth enter the president’s box and shot him in the head; three inches from his left ear. Then Booth leaped from the President’s box onto the stage below and screamed “Sic Semper Tyrinnis” (Death toTyrants- The Virginia State Motto). The audience thought it was part of the performance. Lincoln was carried to a boardinghouse across the street from the theatre and was laid on a bed much to small for his large frame. The President died the next morning shortly after seven ‘oclock in the morning.

John Wilkes Booth

A reward poster hunting for John Wilkes Booth for the murder of Abraham Lincoln posted by the U.S. government
A reward poster hunting for John Wilkes Booth for the murder of Abraham Lincoln posted by the U.S. government

John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838– April 26, 1865) was an american stage actor who assassinated president Lincoln at Ford's theatre, in Washington D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well known actor. He was also
a confederate sympathizer vehement in his denunciation of the Lincoln Administration and outraged by the South's defeat in the american Civil War . He strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the United State
s and Lincoln's proposal to extend to recently emancipated slaves.
Booth and a group of co-conspirators planned to kill Lincoln, Vice-President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Steward in a bid to help the Confederacy's cause. Although Robert E. Lee's army of NorthernVirginia had surrendered four days earlier, Booth believed the war was not yet over because Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's army was still fighting the Union Army. Of the conspirators, only Booth was completely successful in carrying out his respective part of the plot. Seward was wounded but recovered; Lincoln died the next morning from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Following the shooting, Booth fled on horseback to southern Maryland, eventually making his way to a farm in rural northern Virginia12 days later, where he was tracked down and shot by Boston Corbett, a Union soldier who acted against orders. Eight others were tried and convicted, and four were hanged shortly thereafter


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