Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865 in Washington) is the sixteenth president of the United States. He was elected to two terms of four years in 1861 and 1864 without completing the latter. He is the first Republican president of the country's history. His name is associated with the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. He died assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by the confederates at the beginning of his second term.
Lincoln is a small province lawyer with no experience who becomes both a politician and an effective military leader when the USA went through the biggest crisis in their history. The election of a Republican against slavery causes immediate creation of the Confederate States of America composed of 11 slave states and, soon after, the Civil War. After initial setbacks, the United States Army under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant takes over. Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation signed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in 1863. In his nomination speech at the beginning of his second term, he is conciliatory toward the states of the former Confederation and launched a reconstruction program that never was completed because of his assassination by an extremist Confederate.
Lincoln is the great emancipator, 16th president of USA (1861-65), who preserved the Union during the Civil War and led to the emancipation of slaves.
Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique attraction for his compatriots and also for people from other countries. The charm comes from the remarkable story of his life – from his humble origins to his tragic death - and of his distinguished human personality as well as his historical role as savior of the Union and the emancipation of slaves.
Born in a shack of wood, 3 miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Abraham was two years old when he was taken to a farm in the valley near Knob Creek. His frontline memories go back to the house and, in particular, to a flood that swept away the seeds of maize and pumpkins he had planted with his father. Thomas Lincoln, his father, was a descendant of weavers’ apprentices who emigrated from England to settle in Massachusetts in 1637. Although far less prosperous than some of the ancestors of the Lincoln family, Thomas was a sturdy pioneer. On June 12th 1806, he married Nancy Hanks, a woman who has been described as religiously fervent. Thomas Lincoln and Nancy had three children: Sarah, Abraham and Thomas. The latter died in infancy.
In December 1816, confronted to a trial for the title of his farm in Kentucky, Thomas Lincoln moved with his family in south-west of Indiana. Here, as a squatter (occupying a land of illegitimately) on public land, he hastily built "a half-front camp" - a structure of logs and branches with one side open to monitor the weather - where the family was sheltered behind a campfire.
Thereafter, he built a permanent hut, and a little later he bought the land on which they were. Abraham went useful for cleaning the fields and caring for crops, but soon enough, he discovered his dislike for hunting and fishing. In the years that followed, he remembered the "piercing cry of a panther", "bears that have attacked pigs," and the poverty of the life of Indiana’s frontiers. The most unhappy period of his childhood occurred after the death of his mother in the autumn of 1818. Aged 9, he saw his mother being buried in the forest, and then had to face a winter without her love. Fortunately, before the following winter started, Thomas Lincoln had found a new wife and mother from Kentucky. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, a widow, had two girls and a boy from a previous marriage. She had energy and affection to share. She managed her household evenly, treating the children as if they were all her own, but she had a particular affection to Abraham, that he gave her back as well. He will say later that she was an angel.
The stepmother has undoubtedly encouraged Lincoln to read. Yet the original source of his desire to learn something remains a mystery. Both parents were almost completely illiterate, and he had received little formal education. He said once, when he was a boy, he was going to school "a little", a little bit now and a little later. All in all, he had received one year of school assistance. His neighbors remember how he used to walk for miles to borrow a book.
According to what he says, these former neighbors provides "absolutely nothing to motivate him to receive any education. Of course, when I reached a certain age, I did not know very much. Yet, somehow, I could read, write, and I knew how to use the rule of three, but that was it." Apparently the young Lincoln has not read many books, but he completely read the little he had to read. Among these books there were The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington by Parson Weems (with its history of the small hatchet and the cherry), Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, The Progress of Pilgrims by John Bunyan, and Fables of Aesop . He also had some familiarity with the Bible.
In March 1830, the Lincoln family undertook a second migration, this one to Illinois, with Abraham leading the team of oxen. Having just reached 21 years, he was about to begin his adult life. It was tall, muscular and physically powerful with his six feet four inches. He was particularly noted for the skill and strength with which he could use an axe. Having a gloomy mood with a remarkable talent for imitation and story telling, he attracted friends easily.
After his arrival in Illinois, having no desire to be a farmer, Abraham tried a variety of trades. As beam railroad poseur, he helped to put a fence on the new farm of his father. As a boatman, he made a trip on the Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Upon his return to Illinois, he moved to New Salem, a village made of 25 families on the Sangamon River. There, he worked occasionally as a storekeeper, assistant post, and surveyor. With the uprising of the Black Hawk War (1832), he enrolled as a volunteer and was elected captain of his company. Later, he will joke saying he “hadn’t seen anyone attacking the Indians" during the war, but had "to fight until blood against mosquitoes." During that time, aspiring to become a legislator, he was defeated in his first attempt and then was re-elected several times to the Assembly of the state. He had once considered to be a blacksmith, but then opted for law. Having learned by himself grammar and mathematics, he began studying law books. In 1836, after passing the bar examination, he started practicing.
Abraham The lawyer
The following year he moved to Springfield, Illinois, the new capital of the state, which offered many more opportunities for a lawyer than New Salem. Abraham was associated with John T. Stuart, then Stephen T. Logan, and in 1844 with William H. Herndon. This association with Herndon was almost perfect. They won a few cases, they shared the gains, and never argued for money.
Within a few years, after moving in Springfield’s downtown, Lincoln’s income increased from $ 1200 to $ 1500 annually, at a time when the state governor received $ 1200 and judges only $ 750. He had to work hard. To keep busy, it was necessary to practice in the capital and its surrounding as well. Each spring and fall, he had to travel, on horse or by cart, from one county to another. In most cases he received modest honorarium.
The arrival of railroads, particularly after 1850, had facilitated travel and the practice of law was more rewarding. Abraham had been part of a group lobbying for the Illinois central railroad company, in order to obtain a charter from the state, and thereafter they retained his services as a lawyer for the company. He also served for other railways causes, banks, insurance companies, shops and factories.
About 20 years after launching his legal career, Abraham had become one of the most distinguished lawyers in Illinois. He was noticed not only for his tricks and common sense practice, which allowed him to always see the heart of any legal case, but also for his fairness and honesty.
Abraham’s Private Life
Some stories were told about a love between Abraham and Ann Rutledge just before the death of Ann in 1835. But these stories lack of evidence.
The first and only true love, recognized, in Abraham ‘s life was Mary Todd. Educated woman who had a vivid spirit, Todd was from a distinguished family of Kentucky, and her parentage from Springfield belonged to the social aristocracy of the city. Some of them have frowned about the association between Abraham and Todd, and from time to time Abraham had doubts whether he could ever make Mary happy. Nevertheless, they were committed. Then, one day of 1841, called the "deadly January" by Abraham himself, he broke the engagement, apparently on his initiative, but later, he was overwhelmed by depression and despair.
In the end, in 1842, the finally got married.
Four children were born of this union. Robert Todd, the oldest and the only one to survive to adulthood, were never close to his father. Edward Baker and William Wallace had respectively four and eleven years old when they died. Thomas, affectionately called "TAD," has survived his father; ADP, the palace had cracked and he zézayait. He was the favorite of Lincoln.
Lincoln haD left the education of his son to the mother, who was alternately strict and lenient with them.
Abraham Lincoln, the Président
After the election of Lincoln and before his inauguration, the state of South Carolina declared its withdrawal from the union. Other Southern states had proposed compromises in Congress. Most importantly, the Crittenden Compromise that included constitutional amendments:
(1) ensuring that slavery will remain where it already exists and
(2) dividing the territories between slavery and freedom.
Although Abraham had no objection to the first of these amendments, he was opposed to the second and to any kind of violent arrangement. He wrote privately, "I am inflexible." He feared that a territorial division, punishing the principle of extending slavery, would encourage imperialists planters to seek new territory of slavery in the southern U.S. border and thus, "would guide us back on the highway of an empire of slaves. "
From his home in Springfield, he asked the Congress of Republicans to vote against a division of territories. The proposal was abandoned by the committee. Six other states were split and, with South Carolina, they came together to form the Confederate States of America. Abraham was elected the 16th president on November 6, 1860. In February 1861, the Lincoln family moved to Washington DC. The elected president now has a beard, following the suggestion of his eleven years old daughter. He made his serment on March 4, 1861.
On January 1st 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. It was the declaration of freedom of Lincoln, and was for all slaves in areas of the Confederation which are not under the control of the Union. On 19 November 1863, Abraham made his famous speech at Gettysburg, that devoted the battlefield of this region to the soldiers who had died.
A Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was murdered in fron of the Ford Theatre. During the performance, a man named Booth arrived at the theatre by the backstreet entry and shot the President from behind the head at about 10:15 in the evening. He died at 7:22 the next morning. The incident was the first assassination of a president in American history.