by Jessica Tracey, Maeve Connell, Cecilia
Sheehan and Aoife Wosser
the life in
Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, Kentucky;
his family moved to southern Indiana in 1816.
Lincoln's education was limited to three brief
periods in local schools, as he had to work
constantly to support his family.
In 1830, his family moved to Macon County in
southern Illinois, and Lincoln got a job working on
a river flatboat hauling freight down the
Mississippi River to New Orleans.
He met Mary Todd, a woman from Kentucky with
many suitors and they married in 1842.
Break into Politics
Lincoln taught himself law, passing the bar
examination in 1836. The following year, he
moved to the newly named state capital of
Springfield. For the next few years, he worked
there as a lawyer, earning a reputation as "Honest
Abe" and serving clients ranging from individual
residents of small towns to national railroad lines.
After settling in the town of New Salem, Illinois, where he
worked as a shopkeeper and a postmaster, Lincoln
became involved in local politics as a supporter of the
Whig Party, winning elections to the Illinois state
legislature in 1834
Road to the White House
Lincoln won election to the U.S. House of
Representatives in 1846 and began serving his
term the following year.
As a congressman, Lincoln was unpopular with
Illinois voters for his strong stance against the
U.S. war with Mexico.
Promising not to seek re-election, he returned to
Springfield in 1849.
Road to the White House (cont.)
Events conspired to push him back into national politics,
however: Douglas, a leading Democrat in Congress, had
pushed through the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act
(1854), which declared that the voters of each territory,
rather than the federal government, had the right to decide
whether the territory should be slave or free.
On October 16, 1854, Lincoln went before a large crowd in
Peoria to debate the merits of the Kansas-Nebraska Act with
Douglas, denouncing slavery and its extension and calling
the institution a violation of the most basic tenets of the
Declaration of Independence.
President at Last
Lincoln shocked many when he overcame several
more prominent contenders to win the Republican
Party's nomination for president in 1860. His
election that November pushed several Southern
states to secede by the time of his inauguration in
March 1861, and the Civil War began barely a
Contrary to expectations, Lincoln proved to be a
shrewd military strategist and a savvy leader
during what became the costliest conflict ever
fought on American soil.
His Emancipation Proclamation, issued in 1863, freed
all slaves in the rebellious states and paved the
way for slavery's eventual abolition, while his
Gettysburg Address later that year stands as one
of the most famous and influential pieces of
oratory in American history.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday, April
14th 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a
He was the first American president to be assassinated.
He was shot in the back of his head by John Wilkes Booth, a
stage actor, while watching a play.
One week before his death, he had a dream of someone
crying in the White House. When he asked who passed
away, the man in the dream said “The president.” When
Lincoln looked in the coffin, he saw his own face.