I have been taking the approximately month and a half to review the United States past Presidents as inspiration. All adult citizens are preparing to vote for the next President of the United States of America. Looking back, may prepare each of us to move forward. We can be inspired by the Presidents of the United States of America.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. He held the office from March 4, 1861 until April 15th, 1865. He was, also, a lawyer and a politician. He is known for preserving the Union following the Civil War, abolishing slavery, strengthening the federal government, and modernizing the economy.
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He had a sister and a brother. His brother died in infancy. Land disputes led to the family moving to Indiana. His mother died in 1818 and his father remarried a woman with three children in 1819. Lincoln became very close with his step-mother. His sister died in 1828. Lincoln had some teachers intermittently, but was an avid reader. Lincoln grew tall and strong. The family moved to Illinois in 1830. Lincoln soon struck out on his own.
In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd. They broke up, however got back together and married in 1842. Lincoln had become a lawyer. In 1844, they bought a home in Springfield, Illinois near his law office. They had four sons, only one living to adulthood and having children.
In 1832, Lincoln had served in the Illinois Militia. In 1834, he was a Member of the Illinois House of Representatives, serving multiple terms. In 1847, he served a term in the United States House of Representatives. His next political office was becoming President of the United States in 1861.
In between his last political positions, Lincoln then returned to practicing law in Springfield for a time. He helped shape the antislavery Republican Party. He was the first Republican Party President. Secessionist states left the Union before his inauguration. Six states declared themselves the Confederate States of America. Lincoln rejected this, however there were attempts made to compromise.
The Confederates fired the first shot of the Civil War on Fort Sumter. Additional states declared allegiance to each side. Struggles politically and battles occurred. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on September 22, 1862. Lincoln recruited black soldiers. Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address in 1863. General Lee, who led the Confederacy, surrendered to General Grant, who led the Union, on April 9, 1865.
Lincoln was soundly reelected in 1864. Reconstruction had begun before the war ended. After Lee’s surrender, Lincoln wished to reunite and not alienate those in the South. The Amnesty Proclamations issued pardons to those who did not hold Confederate office, who did not mistreat Union prisoners of war, and who would swear allegiance. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, outlawing slavery, passed on December 6, 1865. Other important actions took place during Lincoln’s Presidency. For example, the Thanksgiving holiday was declared as a nationwide holiday and Yosemite National Park was granted federal protection. West Virginia and Nevada were admitted to the Union.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. The plan was to also assassinate General Grant, the Vice President, and the Secretary of State. Booth snuck up behind President Lincoln in his theatre balcony box seat and shot him in the back of the head. Booth was killed by a Union sergeant after being on the run for twelve days. Lincoln had died in the morning of April 15th. President Johnson was sworn in just a few hours later.
Lincoln is often ranked in the top three, if not number one, of U.S. Presidents from our history. The Lincoln Memorial, as well as, many other places and things have been made or dedicated to honor Abraham Lincoln. There is an abundance of memorials and much to read concerning Abraham Lincoln. He had and has had a number of nicknames. Perhaps one of the longest held and best known is Honest Abe. Be inspired! Have a bright day!