Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks in Hardin County, Kentucky.
He was truly born in a log cabin and his parents were simple farmers of no significant wealth.
Lincoln’s mother died when he was 9, and he was never close to his father, though he did have affection for his stepmother.
He had only 18 months of formal schooling and taught himself law, and he was admitted to the bar in 1837, at age 28.
Lincoln’s father moved Abraham with him to Indiana, then to Illinois, and then wanted to move the family back to Indiana in 1831, but Lincoln, at age 22, decided to set off on his own and make a life for himself.
The original Illinois stance of the Whig Party was the improvement of the Sangamon River to increase steamboat traffic to promote trade. A foundation of the Whig party was to fund internal improvements as Andrew Jackson would not
Lincoln, once he passed the bar exam and held the status of a lawyer, ran and won 4 successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives.
He also ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846 and was successful, but this was his only experience in Washington, D.C., a single two year term.
Lincoln only served that single two-year in the U.S. House of Representatives and then did not run again as he became unpopular due to some of his radical and cavalier stances upon the Mexican-American War and President James Polk’s claim that Mexico caused our aggression.
Lincoln ran under the new Republican Party for a seat in the Senate representing Illinois in the Election of 1858 but lost to popular candidate Stephen A. Douglas, who championed popular sovereignty.
Lincoln’s love of his wife was unquestioned but they suffered many tragedies, particularly the death of three of their sons, as only one, Robert Todd Lincoln survived to adulthood. Lincoln even lost one of these sons in 1862 during the war.
Lincoln’s View on Slavery going into the Election of 1860
Lincoln’s platform was to stop the extension of slavery to the West, but allow slavery to continue in the South, hoping that at some point it will cease to exist based upon Economic reasons (free market and labor ideology)
When the Southern States seceded, his statement to the South reads as such, "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you.... You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it."