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Abraham Lincoln

An iconic photograph of a bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.

16th President of the United States

In officeMarch 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865

Vice President

Hannibal HamlinAndrew Johnson

Preceded by

James Buchanan

Succeeded by

Andrew Johnson

Member of theU.S. House of Representativesfrom Illinois 's7thdistrict

In officeMarch 4, 1847 – March 3, 1849

Preceded by

John Henry

Succeeded by

Thomas L. Harris

Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from Sangamon County

In officeDecember 1, 1834 – December 4, 1842

Personal details

Born

February 12, 1809 Sinking Spring Farm, Kentucky, U.S.

Died

April 15, 1865 Washington, D.C., U.S.

Cause of death

Assassination

Resting place

Lincoln Tomb

Political party

WhigRepublicanNational Union

Height

6 ft 4 in

Spouse

Mary Todd ( m.   1842 )

Children

  • Robert
  • Edward
  • Willie
  • Tad

Relatives

Thomas LincolnNancy Hanks

Signature

Cursive signature in ink

Military service

Allegiance

  United States  •   Illinois

Branch/service

Illinois Militia

Years of service

1832

Rank

CaptainPrivate

Battles/wars

Black Hawk War

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.

Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman. He left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign. He then ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery. They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U.S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to suppress the rebellion and restore the Union.

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Discover Abraham Lincoln Quotes and Sayings

I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country's cause. - Abraham Lincoln

I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country's cause.

Abraham Lincoln

hope
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. - Abraham Lincoln

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

Abraham Lincoln

mothers day hope
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

life
I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. - Abraham Lincoln

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.

Abraham Lincoln

mothers day life
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind. - Abraham Lincoln

All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.

Abraham Lincoln

nature life
Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory. - Abraham Lincoln

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.

Abraham Lincoln

marriage
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. - Abraham Lincoln

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln

men
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

power men
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. - Abraham Lincoln

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.

Abraham Lincoln

men
Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. - Abraham Lincoln

Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

Abraham Lincoln

men
I can make more generals, but horses cost money. - Abraham Lincoln

I can make more generals, but horses cost money.

Abraham Lincoln

money
Avoid popularity if you would have peace. - Abraham Lincoln

Avoid popularity if you would have peace.

Abraham Lincoln

peace
No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. - Abraham Lincoln

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

Abraham Lincoln

pet
I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known. - Abraham Lincoln

I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.

Abraham Lincoln

politics
I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it. - Abraham Lincoln

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

Abraham Lincoln

religion
If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. - Abraham Lincoln

If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.

Abraham Lincoln

respect