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Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the 16th president of the United States who was best known for leading the United States to victory in the U.S. Civil War and freeing the slaves with the passage known as the Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1809. He would work as log cutter during his youth. Lincoln entered politics when he ran for Illinois Congress in 1832, but lost. In 1836, Lincoln won his first election in the Illinois House of Representatives. He would go on to serve four terms in that congress. In 1846, Lincoln was elected to the U.S. Congress for only one term. In the 1850s, after failing to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, Lincoln began to run for president under the newly formed Republican Party. During that time, he faced off against Stephen A. Douglas in many debates. In 1860, Lincoln became the first Republican president to be elected. He would be re-elected in 1864.
In 1861, Lincoln was faced with a dilema as 11 southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. To make things worse, the South declared war on the United States after Northern troops attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina in April 12, 1861. Lincoln was determined to reunionize the country even if war was involved. Things were not looking too good for Lincoln as the South advanced up to the North, but the odds turned in favor for Lincoln after the Battle of Gettysburg on July 4, 1863. After the victory, Lincoln delivered his iconic Gettysberg Address. Eventually, the North would win the Civil War on April 9, 1865 with the South surrender at the Appomatix Courthouse in Virginia.
In 1863, Lincoln delivered his iconic Emancipation Proclamation which declared that all slaves in the South would be set free. However, the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced in little to no occassions. Eventually, the slaves would be set free with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.
On April 14, 1865, tragedy struck the nation as Lincoln became the first president to be assassinated. He attended a play called Our American Cousin at the Ford Theatre with his wife. When he was sitting in a booth next to his wife, a Southern loyalist/actor named John Wilkes Booth snuck into the booth and shot Lincoln in the back of his head. He died moments later. As a result of the death, Lincoln’s highly racist vice president Andrew Johnson succeded Lincoln and the Secret Service was created to protect the president.
Today, Abraham Lincoln has been worshipped as one of the best presidents of all time. He is honored with the creation of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
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