Name: Abraham Lincoln

Alive: 1809-1865

Bio: Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his was assassinated in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through the Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He also preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and continued to modernize the economy. He was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky and grew up on the western frontier in Kentucky and Indiana. He was largely self-educated, and became a lawyer in Illinois, a Whig Party leader, and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, where he had twelve years of service. He was elected in 1846 to the United States House of Representatives and promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, tariffs, and railroads. He originally agreed not to run for a second term in Congress. He became a leader in building the new Republican Party, which had a state-wide majority in Illinois. In 1858, while taking part in a series of highly publicized debates with his opponent and rival, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln spoke out against the expansion of slavery but lost the U.S. Senate race but was elected president later in 1860.

Quotes:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power”

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other”

“Whatever you are, be a good one”

Popular Culture:

“Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” – film, 2010

“The Simpsons”, “Futurama”, “American Dad” – animated series, 1991, 2009, 2006

“Lincoln” – film, 2012

Carved into the mountain face of Mount Rushmore

Further Reading:

  • Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010)
  • Richard Carwardine, Lincoln (2003)
  • William C. Harris, Lincoln’s Rise to the Presidency (2007)