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President of the United States Abraham Lincoln
, – ,
Vice | (1861 - 1865)
Member of the
from 's district
, – ,
Born | , (1809-02-12)
Died | , (aged )
Nationality | American
Political | ,
Religion | raised by ; rented a pew in the ; never officially acquired membership in a church
Abraham Lincoln (, – , ) was the , serving from , until his death on , . As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of , he won the nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the by leading the defeat of the in the . He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his in 1863 and promoting the passage of the to the Constitution in 1865.
Lincoln's leadership qualities were evident in his close supervision of the victorious war effort, especially in his selection of and other top generals. Historians conclude that he handled the factions of the Republican Party brilliantly by bringing its leaders into his cabinet and forcing them to cooperate. In crisis management, he defused a war scare with the (1861), he outmaneuvered the Confederacy and took control of the border slave states in 1861 – 1862, and he managed his own landslide reelection in the .
Antiwar "" criticized him for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. In contrast, the , a strongly Abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. Lincoln successfully rallied public opinion through the powerful rhetoric of his messages and speeches; his is remembered as a prime example of this. At the close of the war, Lincoln took a moderate view of , seeking to speedily re-unite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation. His in 1865 was the first in U.S. history and made him a martyr for the ideal of national unity.
Scholars rank Lincoln among the , with the highest of those surveyed placing him at number one. He is noted for his lasting influence on U.S. politics, including a redefinition of .
Lincoln 1809 to 1854
Abraham Lincoln was born on , , to and , two uneducated farmers. He was born in a one-room on the 348 acre (1.4 kmІ) Sinking Spring Farm, in Nolin Creek, three miles (5 km) south of , in southeast (now part of ), an area which, at that time, was considered the "." The name Abraham was chosen to commemorate his grandfather, who was killed in an raid in 1786. His elder sister, , was born in 1807; a younger brother, Thomas Jr, died in infancy. It is sometimes debated whether Abraham Lincoln had , an disorder of the characterized by long limbs and great physical stature.
Symbolic log cabin at
For some time, Thomas Lincoln was a respected and relatively affluent citizen of the Kentucky back country. He had purchased Sinking Spring Farm in December 1808 for $200 cash and assumption of a debt. The family belonged to a church that had seceded from a larger church over the issue of slavery. While exposed to his parents' anti-slavery sentiment from a very young age, Lincoln never joined their church, or any other, and as a youth he ridiculed religion.
In 1816, when Lincoln was just seven years old, the family was forced to make a new start in (now in ), Indiana. He later noted that this move was "partly on account of slavery," and partly because of difficulties with land deeds in Kentucky: Unlike land in the , Kentucky never had a proper U.S. survey, and farmers often had difficulties proving title to their property. In 1818, Lincoln's mother, then thirty-four years old, died of : Lincoln was only nine at the time. Soon afterwards, his father remarried to . Sarah Lincoln raised young Lincoln like one of her own children. Years later she compared Lincoln to her own son, saying "Both were good boys, but I must say — both now being dead that Abe was the best boy I ever saw or ever expect to see.