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My Life: Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born on the 12th February 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky, to parents Thomas and Nancy Lincoln.

In the years, 1834, 1836, 1838 and 1840 Lincoln won his seat, and served on the Illinois Legislature.  He was a member of the Whig party until 1856, when he became a Republican.

Lincoln became a lawyer in 1836, and in 1842 married Mary Todd.  The couple were blessed with four children.

In 1846, he ran for the United States House of Representatives and won his place.  He later ran for the U.S. Senate, even though he failed in his bid, he received some support for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 1856.

In 1858, debates with Stephen Douglas for the Senatorial race, saw Douglas win and Lincoln gain national recognition.

William Seward was expected to be the Republican nominee, for the Presidential election.  Things don’t always go as planned.  For on the 6th November 1860, Abraham Lincoln the son of a carpenter and farmer had grabbed the peoples heart’s becoming the 16th President of the United States.

With Lincoln’s election, the Southern states feared Republican control in government.  Lincoln had no choice, but to put down the south, and save the Union.  He was forced to raise an army.

On the 1st January 1863, the “Emancipation Proclamation” came into effect, a declaration of freedom for slaves, within the Confederacy areas.

On the 19th November 1863, Lincoln stepped forward with his Gettysburg Address, dedicated to the soldiers who had lost their lives.

Lincoln passed the “Homestead Act,” which allowed poor people of the east, to acquire lands in the west.  He went on to create a national currency and a banking network.  He also signed a bill, offering protection for American Industry, creation of the transcontinental railroad; it was designed to prevent foreign intervention during the Civil War.

In 1864 Ulysses S Grant, became general of the armies, and Lincoln was re-elected as President.

General Lee Surrender

Surrender of General Robert E Lee

On the 9th April 1865, General Robert E Lee surrendered to Ulysses S Grant outside the White House.

Abraham Lincoln announced he would support an act, which would support voting rights for certain blacks.  This infuriated a racist and Southern sympathizer, the actor John Wilkes Booth, who hated what President Lincoln stood for.

On the 14th April 1865, Booth discovered Abraham Lincoln was to attend Ford’s Theatre in Washington with his wife.

Booth and his small band of conspirator’s had planned to murder Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward.

Assassination-of-President Abraham Lincoln

Booth’s conspirator’s had failed in their objectives, but Booth had not accepted failure as an option.  On that night, Booth had slipped into the Presidential Box and shot the President, Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head, with his derringer.

John Wilkes Booth jumped from the presidential box breaking his leg in the fall, onto the stage, and quoted the state motto of Virginia: “Sic simper tyrannis” and yelled out, the south is avenged.  He hobbled out of the theatre, escaping on horseback into the night, and rode out into the Maryland countryside.

President Lincoln on his death-bed

Abraham Lincoln on his deathbed

The mortally wounded Lincoln was carried to a rooming house across the street, from the theatre.  Government officials along with his wife gathered round, and on the morning of the 15th April 1865, Abraham Lincoln died.

Andrew Johnson was sworn in as President on the 15th April 1865 at Kirkwood House.

The nation mourned the death of Lincoln, and wanted justice.

Booth Reward Poster

John Wilkes Booth became the most wanted man in the country.  Help he had expected from southern sympathizers never materialised.  He managed to cross the Potomac and reach Virginia, but was shunned by his southerners.

Lincoln’s body laid in state at the East Room of the White House, on the 19th April 1865.

Lincoln's Funeral Train

On the 21st April the body of Abraham Lincoln was taken to Springfield, Illinois.  On the 4th May he was buried in the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth

The murder John Wilkes Booth, had barricaded himself in a Virginian barn, surrounded on all sides by troops, who wanted his blood.  On the 26th April 1865, he died from his wounds.

Booth’s conspirator’s were rounded up, and put on trial by a military tribunal.  Convicted participants David Herold, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt and Mary Suratt were hanged.

Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President of the United States will be remembered, for the role he played in preserving the Union during the Civil War.

During his time in office, he pushed for the abolition of slavery in the United States… An act which would take many years to reach fruition.

Images: Pinterest – Springfield Museum

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