Born In: Larue County, Kentucky, United States
Turn the pages of America’s political history and you are sure to find one man who outshines others and attracts the attention of all – Abraham Lincoln! Nicknamed Honest Abe or Father Abraham, Lincoln was, by far, one of the most powerful and greatest presidents that America has ever witnessed. Rising from a modest and humble beginning, it was his sheer determination and honest effort that led him to the nation’s highest office. An astute politician and proficient lawyer, he played a vital role in the unification of the states. Leading from the front, he played a prominent role in abolishing slavery from the country, eventually giving people equal rights, irrespective of caste, color, or creed. He not only envisioned but actually brought to the forefront a truly democratic government which was led by the concept ‘by the people, of the people and for the people.’ What’s more, Lincoln led the country when it faced its greatest constitutional, military, and moral crises. He not only emerged victorious but was also effective in strengthening the national government and modernizing the economy. He was a savior of the Union and an emancipator of the slaves. Just like his astonishing rise to the top-notch position and his eventual governance, his death was equally astounding as he became the first US president ever to be assassinated. Since awards and honors did not exist at the time, Abraham Lincoln was never felicitated with awards and honors. However, he is considered one of the top three presidents of the United States. As per the presidential ranking polls conducted since 1948, Lincoln has been rated at the top in the majority of polls.
Died At Age: 56
Spouse/Ex-: Mary Todd Lincoln
father: Thomas Lincoln
mother: Nancy Lincoln
siblings: Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, Thomas
Born Country: United States
political ideology: Republican (1854–1865), National Union (1864–1865)
place of death: Petersen House, Washington, D.C., United States
Ancestry: British American
Cause of Death: Assassination
U.S. State: Kentucky
Abraham Lincoln led the country when it faced its greatest constitutional, military, and moral crises. America was faced with Civil War and secession of the southern states from the union. Abraham Lincoln successfully tackled these multiple challenges. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.
Leading from the front, Abraham Lincoln played a prominent role in abolishing slavery from the country, eventually giving people equal rights, irrespective of caste, color or creed. He not only envisioned but actually brought to the forefront a truly democratic government which was led by the concept - ‘by the people, of the people and for the people.’
Abraham Lincoln started his political career as Whig Party member and later on became a Republican. He entered the Illinois House of Representatives for Sangamon County on Whig Party ticket in 1834 and was the member of the state legislature till 1842. From 1847 to 1849, he represented Whig Party from Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1849, he left politics and returned to his law practice.
Abraham Lincoln re-entered politics in 1854, becoming a leader in the new Republican Party. He ran for the office of the President in 1860 and was elected on Republican Party's ticket. He was re-elected for a second term in 1864.
Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was a Confederate sympathiser. Just five days before Lincoln’s assassination Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, thus leading to the end of the American Civil War. With Lincoln’s assassination John Wilkes Booth wanted to revive the Confederate cause. Booth was a supporter of slavery and believed that Lincoln was determined to overthrow the Constitution.
During the 1848 presidential elections, Lincoln supported General Zachary Taylor for the ‘Whig’ nomination. Though Taylor won the elections, Lincoln lost to Justin Butterfield, losing out on an opportunity to be appointed commissioner of the ‘General Land Office.’ Instead, he was offered the position of a secretary or governor of the Oregon Territory. He refused the offer to resume his law practice.
According to the ‘Act,’ Stephen Douglas had permitted the settlers to determine the fate of slavery in the new territory. Condemning the ‘Act,’ Lincoln argued that the national Congress had no role to play in the matter.
Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were different from each other in terms of their political outlook and physical appearance. While Lincoln advocated the abolition of slavery, Douglas promoted his ‘Freeport Doctrine,’ according to which local people of a particular state were free to decide whether or not slavery should be practiced in their state.
The states included in the ‘Confederate States of America’ were South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Led by Jefferson Davis, these states were considered independent and sovereign.
General McClellan was appointed as the general-in-chief for all the Union armies. Though the first year and a half proved to be difficult due to the losses and support for the reunification of the nation, the victory at Antietam gave Lincoln some relief.
Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had contact with the Confederate secret service. It is believed that Booth initially planned to abduct Lincoln in exchange for the release of Confederate prisoners. However, enraged by Lincoln’s speech of giving black people the right to vote and thus equal status in the society, Booth resolved to assassinate him.
The tragic incident occurred during the screening of the play, ‘Our American Cousin’ at ‘Ford’s Theatre,’ where Lincoln was present along with Clara Harris, Henry Rathbone, and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. His main bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon was not present and John Parker was one of four men detailed to act as Lincoln's bodyguard.
Joining the driver for drinks at the interval, Parker left Lincoln unguarded, a setting which Booth capitalized on. He shot Lincoln at point-blank range on his head, mortally wounding him. He then stabbed Major Henry Rathbone and escaped.
The couple was blessed with four sons. Barring Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest child, none of the children survived till adulthood. As parents, the Lincoln couple was noted for their lenient attitude. They were extremely fond of children and the death of their three children had a strong impact on their personal lives.
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