Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th in 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky. By the time he reached the age of 21 he received less than a year of formal education, since he was raised by poor parents. Most of his education was schooling at home and using borrowed Bible and books. In 1831, he moved to the Illinois village of New Salem at the age of 22, where he continued his self-education by borrowing books and teaching himself subjects such as mathematics, law, history, and grammar.
During that time, he worked in two different general stores as a store clerk. Lincoln also taught himself surveying, and worked part time at this vocation. In addition, he was appointed postmaster, and during the Black Hawk war he served for 3 months in the militia. Abraham ran for the state legislature less than a year after he moved to New Salem. He was defeated in this first effort, but he decided to try again the next term. In 1834, his second attempt was successful.
Lincoln was chosen as one of the representatives of Sangamon County Whig to the Illinois State Legislature. He served four consecutive terms as state legislator for anti-slavery. Lincoln was admitted to the Illinois bar before he had left that office. Later he become one of the best and most respected lawyers in the region, known for his influential manner with juries and honesty. Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. She was a well-educated woman of a notable Kentucky family.
The couple had four sons, but only one of them survived to manhood. His name was Robert Todd Lincoln. Lincoln served a single term in Congress from 1847 to 1849, and then he went into retirement from politics. He did it in order to concentrate more on his law practice. He decided to seek political office again in 1854, because of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed for the slavery propaganda into the new territories. In 1856, he joined the new Republican Party, and in 1858, he ran for the US Senate.
There he provided energetic moral argument against slavery with Stephen A. Douglas in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Although he lost the Senate race to Douglas in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected for the President. 11 southern states declared their independence from the Union, due to a result of his nomination. On April 12th in 1861, the South fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor and Lincoln called for 75 thousand volunteers in order to help put down the rebellion.
Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation after over a year of indecisive fighting, freeing the slaves of the rebelling southern states. On January 1st in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Victories of the Union at Chattanooga, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg soon had the Southern armies permanently on the defensive. On November 19th in 1863, Lincoln presented the Gettysburg Address during a dedication ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, now recognized as one of the greatest speeches in the world.
In November of 1864, he was re-elected president. By pushing the Thirteenth Amendment, Lincoln freed all slaves everywhere in the country, through congress in late 1864 and early 1865. On January 31th of 1865, the House of Representatives passed the Thirteenth Amendment, after a great deal of political maneuvering on the part of Abraham Lincoln. Delivered less than six weeks before his assassination, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address eloquently summed up his beliefs.
The war was the punishment of the God on the nation for its failure to remove slavery from the country, the cause of the war had been slavery, and the duty of every American is to not only eliminate slavery, but to forgive his or her fellow man, re-unite the nation, and build a lasting peace among the nations. On April 14th in 1865, Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth. He died the following day.