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Abraham LIncoln. Mrs. Chen; 8 th grade U.S. History. Background. February 12 th , 1809 – April 15 th , 1865 Self-educated Kentucky lawyer; Whig Party 6’4”; Married to Mary Todd Lincoln; 4 Sons

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abraham lincoln

Abraham LIncoln

Mrs. Chen; 8th grade U.S. History

  • February 12th, 1809 – April 15th, 1865
  • Self-educated Kentucky lawyer; Whig Party
  • 6’4”; Married to Mary Todd Lincoln; 4 Sons
  • Illinois congressman; opposed Kansas-Nebraska Act; lost to Stephen Douglas in the Senate race of 1858
  • 1st President to be photographed at inauguration and 1st to be assassinated
house divided
“House Divided”
  • After being nominated for the U.S. Senate by the Illinois Republicans, Lincoln delivered a speech in Congress known as the “House Divided” Speech.
  • Drawing upon the bible verse Mark 3:25, Lincoln’s words would rally Republicans all across the North as he warned of the dangers of disunion caused by the slavery debate

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

election of 1860
Election of 1860
  • The new Republican party nominated Lincoln to run for president in 1860. Lincoln won the clear majority electoral votes and 40% of the popular votes.
  • As states began to secede, President James Buchanan told Congress that the states had no right to secede, but that he had no power to stop them.
1861 inaugural address
1861 Inaugural Address
  • March 4th, 1861
  • He said that secession would not be permitted and vowed to hold federal property in the South and enforce the laws of the United States.
  • At the same time, he pleaded with Southerners for reconciliation.
  • Lincoln also addressed the legality of secession. Countering the South’s argument of States’ Rights, Lincoln reminded people of the primary goals of the Constitution: “In order to form a more perfect Union”
  • Lincoln argued that even if the Constitution were to be interpreted as a simple contract, it could only be rescinded if ALL states agreed to that.
war changes lincoln
War Changes Lincoln
  • As the Civil War dragged on, Lincoln changes his mind and decides to end slavery. Ending slavery would discourage Europeans who opposed slavery from assisting the Confederacy and it would deprive the Confederacyof a large part of their workforce.
  • On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring that slaves in the Confederate states are free.
emancipation proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
  • Confederate states ignored the document.
  • For many in the North, the Emancipation Proclamation changed the primary goal of the war from simply preserving the Union to ending slavery as well and living up to the Declaration of Independence’s ideal that “all men are created equal.”
gettysburg address
Gettysburg Address
  • In November of 1863, Lincoln traveled to Pennsylvania to speak at the dedication of a new burial ground for soldiers lost in the Battle of Gettysburg. Although his speech was merely ten sentences long and lasted just over 2 minutes, it would become one of the most important political speeches in American history.
  • His words echoed those in the Declaration of Independence and reminded Americans what the men had died for: equality and lasting democracy.
1865 inaugural address a message of reconciliation
1865 Inaugural Address: A message of Reconciliation

…but let us judge not, that we be not judged

…let us strive on to bind up the nation’s wounds

…to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphans…

  • April 14th, 1865: President Lincoln and his wife, Mary went to a play at Ford’s Theatre, located between the White House and the Capitol. They sat in the flag-covered president’s box with some other guests and the play was funny.
  • Then there was a gun shot, a man climbed out of the president’s box, leaped on to the stage, said something in Latin, and was gone. A woman screamed and a voice cried out, “The president has been shot!”
  • Abraham Lincoln died the next day in a small house across the street from the theatre, it was April 15th 1865
  • He was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a 26-year-old actor who was sure the South would cheer his act. They didn’t. Confederate General George Pickett said: “The South has lost her best friend and protector in this her direst hour of need.”
  • Booth was hunted and trapped in a Virginia tobacco barn. The barn was set on fire. When he wouldn’t come out, he was shot.