Abraham Lincoln Biography
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, was born February 12, 1809, in Kentucky. His father was a farmer, and his family was very poor, living in a small, one-room log cabin. While Lincoln was still very young, his family moved to Indiana, and then again to Illinois. He only went to school for one year, but he loved books and learning, and taught himself as much as he could.
When he was 22 years old, Abraham Lincoln left home to work at a general store. It was there that he got his nickname, “Honest Abe.” Once a customer accidentally overpaid by a few pennies, and that night when the store closed, Abraham Lincoln walked for miles to take the money back.
In 1832 Lincoln ran in an election to become a member of the Illinois State Legislature, but he lost. After that he served as a Captain in the Army, and then he started working as a lawyer, and got married. In 1846 he was elected to the US House of Representatives. In 1860, he ran for President. It was a difficult time in the United States. The North and the South disagreed on a lot of things, and it was getting worse. One thing they disagreed on was slavery. The Northern states did not want any more slavery. The Southern states wanted to keep their slaves.
Abraham Lincoln did not like slavery, either. He was elected President because he had the support of the Northern states. He had almost no support from the Southern states. As soon as he became President, southern states began seceding from the Union. That means they decided they didn’t want to be a part of the United States anymore. President Lincoln was determined to keep the country together, and in 1861 a war started. It was the Civil War, a terrible, bloody war that lasted four years.
On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, an order that freed all the slaves in the southern states. A few years later, he helped to pass the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which made slavery illegal everywhere in the United States. The Civil War finally ended on April 9, 1865. President Lincoln wanted to put the country back together, and help the South rebuild. Unfortunately, he did not live to see that happen. Less than a week after the end of the Civil War, Lincoln and his wife were watching a play at the Ford Theater in Washington DC when he was shot in the head by a man named John Wilkes Booth.
Abraham Lincoln died the next morning, on April 15, 1865. He was the first American President to be assassinated. Abraham Lincoln once said, “I want it said of me by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” He is widely considered to be one of the greatest presidents in American history. His leadership during the Civil War and his defense of human liberty make him an American hero. His face is on pennies and five dollar bills, he was included in Mount Rushmore, and a memorial for him stands in Washington, DC.