Abraham Lincoln 1809 - 1865

Abraham Lincoln, nicknamed Honest Abe, was the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865).

Image Above

Detail from Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Portrait.

Scroll down for more info on this photograph.

Honest Abe steered his country through the  American Civil War and ended slavery within the country's boundaries.

Coming from humble origins, Lincoln became a successful lawyer.


Abraham Lincoln News

Historians say they discovered new artifacts and documents regarding the young Abraham Lincoln. See what you think.


Abraham Lincoln's Strengths

Lincoln was a gifted politician and famous for his speeches.

Go here for the Abraham Lincoln Speech Collection.

Abraham Lincoln also had the reputation of being respectful and fair.


Abraham Lincoln's SignatureAbraham Lincoln, 1809 - 1865
Abraham Lincoln and his Signature


Abraham Lincoln and Slavery

Although he was against slavery, Lincoln stated in 1858, in his speech at Charleston, Illinois,

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races."


Abraham Lincoln Places to Visit

You can visit the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Kentucky.

Then there is of course the Lincoln National Memorial in Washington DC.

Click on the image below to see some excellent shots of the Lincoln Memorial provided by art historian Lee Sandstead.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC


Abraham Lincoln's Family

Abraham Lincoln's father was Thomas Lincoln.

His mother was Nancy Hanks. Nancy died in 1818.

Actor Tom Hanks might or might not be related to the 16th US President.

Abraham Lincoln's stepmother was Sarah Bush Johnston (widowed), who had two girls and a boy of her own.

Abraham's siblings were Sarah and Thomas.

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd.

Mary Todd Lincoln, 1818 - 1882
1818 - 1882


Their children were Robert Todd, Edward Baker, William Wallace, and Thomas ("Tad").


Abraham Lincoln's Early Years

Abe Lincoln grew up in Kentucky on the American frontier. And, for all you whiskey lovers, Abe grew up at the Knob Creek farm.

Here you can read Abraham Lincoln's Role in Bourbon History. Great little article. Great little whiskey, too. Very smooth.

Abe Lincoln's family was poor. They relocated first to Indiana and then to Illinois. He received little formal education but eagerly taught himself. Abe worked a wide variety of jobs, including rail splitting. Hence his nickname The Rail-Splitter.


What in the World is a Rail-Splitter?

A rail-splitter is a laborer who splits logs to build split-rail fences.


Abraham Lincoln & the Black Hawk War

Lincoln enlisted as volunteer for the Black Hawk War, but his company did not see battle.


Law & Politics

Abraham Lincoln began to study law and decided to go into politics. He was elected to a seat in the Illinois State Legislature and served four successive terms.

Lincoln passed the Illinois bar and became a sought-after attorney, representing banks, insurance companies, and the Illinois Central Railroad.


On June 16, 1858, at the Republican State Convention held at Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln was nominated to run against Democrat Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who ran for re-election. Lincoln's acceptance speech at the end of this convention is also called the A House Divided Speech.


On July 24, 1858, Lincoln wrote a letter to Douglas, inviting him to a series of debates. It followed seven Lincoln-Douglas Debates, which took place on:

August 21, 1858

August 27, 1858

September 15, 1858

September 18, 1858

October 7, 1858

October 13, 1858 and

October 15, 1858.


Although defeated for senator by a vote of 54 to 46 on January 5, 1859, Lincoln was nominated for president on May 18, 1860.

One of the main reasons for Lincoln's nomination was his Cooper Union Address, which he had delivered in lower Manhattan on February 27, 1860, and which was exceptionally well received by the 1,500 persons in the audience.

Library of Congress


Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Portrait

Photographer Mathew Brady took this portrait of Abraham Lincoln at his studio in New York City on the same day that Lincoln gave his now-famous Cooper Union address, February 27, 1860.

Brady retouched the photograph, smoothing facial lines and straightening his subject's "roving" left eye. The effect was striking, and what Lincoln jokingly referred to as his "shadow" later appeared on hundreds of campaign buttons, posters, and small printed business cards.


Abraham Lincoln & the Civil War

After Lincoln's election but before his inauguration, South Carolina proclaimed its withdrawal from the Union. The Civil War began. The government was divided over questions of strategy and goals in the war, but Lincoln successfully managed to smooth them over and won re-election.


Go here for Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, which he delivered on March 4, 1861. Lincoln was escorted to the Capitol by heavily armed cavalry and infantry because of the unfolding American Civil War.

Lincoln's Vice President was Hannibal Hamlin.


In his Second Inaugural Address, which he delivered on March 1865, Lincoln proclaimed his motto,

"With malice toward none; with charity for all."

This indicated the course he planned to take after the war.

Back to the year 1863.


The Emancipation Proclamation - January 1, 1863

"All persons held as slaves" within the states that had seceded from the Union "are, and henceforward shall be free."

So President Lincoln decided and issued his Emancipation Proclamation accordingly on January 1, 1863.

Read the
transcript of the Emancipation Proclamation.


GETTYSBURG ADDRESS - November 19, 1863

One of the most famous modern speeches is Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in which he promoted

"government of the people, by the people, for the people."

The brief speech was given on the occasion of the dedication of the National Cemetery on the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Here you can find all things Gettysburg Address.

And here you can get your own vintage top hat.


Abraham Lincoln's Assassination and Death

Five days after General Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Lincoln was watching the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C.

He was seated with his wife Mary, Major Henry Rathbone, and Clara Harris in Box 7.

Officer John Parker, who was assigned as his bodyguard, became bored and went next door to a saloon to get a drink, leaving Lincoln unprotected.

John Wilkes Booth, one of nine conspirators, stepped into the box behind Lincoln and shot him in the back of the head with a .44 caliber Derringer. He then stabbed Rathbone, jumped onto the stage, and escaped.

Lincoln was carried across the street to the Peterson House, where he died nine hours later.

Vice President Andrew Johnson became the new president.

And thus Honest Abe became the first American president to be assassinated.


What about the assassins?

Booth was shot and killed by soldiers on April 26, while hiding in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia.

His companions were hanged. See more and a photo of their execution under The Attempted Assassination of Andrew Johnson

Check out Assassinations in History.


Today, the theater as well as the House where Lincoln Died are a National Historic Site, which you are welcome to visit.

Click on image to enlarge


Abraham Lincoln's Successor

Lincoln's vice president of six weeks became the next president. See more under Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States, from 1865-1869.


Abraham Lincoln's Brief Biography

1809 February 12 - Birth near Hodgenville, Kentucky

1832 Black Hawk War

1834 Elected to state legislature

1836 Lawyer

1846 April - Mexican war (until February 1848)

1847 Serves in Congress (until 1849)

1856 Joins the Republican Party

1861 President of the United States

1863 Emancipation Declaration

1863 Gettysburg Address

1864 Reelected president

1865 April 15 - Death at Washington, D.C.


Abraham Lincoln Trivia

This is Roger Norton's website dedicated to Abe Lincoln. Lots of trivia. Roger is a former teacher of American history.

One of Lincoln's biggest fans was future President Theodore Roosevelt.

And here is an Abraham Lincoln Timeline


Abraham Lincoln's Name

Since 1989 the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is in use. This is the official Navy web site of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

It is the second US Navy ship bearing Abe's name. The first one was the submarine Abraham Lincoln. The sub retired in 1981 after twenty years of service.


More Abraham Lincoln Info

Check the US Election Map 1796 - 1968.

Check Governments of the United States Chart.

Check the Abraham Lincoln page provided by the White House.



See also the American Timeline.





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