Abraham Lincoln Biography

Abraham Lincoln Biography

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Abraham Lincoln Biography


You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of all the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.
— Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was also called 'the Honest Abe', 'the railsplitter', or 'the Great Emancipator' and at the same time a natural gentleman. He is also known as Father Abraham, the Wielder of authority, the supporter of the weak; and he is an equal, a neighbour and a friend.

Abraham Lincoln is generally considered the greatest President of the United States of America (1861-65), who preserved the Union during the American Civil war and brought about the emancipation of the slaves. Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique appeal for his countrymen and also for the people other lands. His relevance ceases and grows especially because of his eloquence as a spokesman for democracy. In his view, the union was worth saving not only for its own sake but also because it embodied the ideal of self-government, which was of interest to the people of the entire world.

Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, into a poor family of Kentucky, United States of America. His father Thomas Lincoln was a farmer. Lincoln's early life was full of hardships. He was a bright student but could not study must for lack of means. he used to walk two miles to the schoolhouse, where he learned the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic. However, the young Lincoln had not read a large number of books but thoroughly comprehended the few that he did read. These included Parson Weem's Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington, Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim's Progress and Aesop's Fables.

The unhappiest period of his boyhood followed the death of his mother in 1818. Fortunately, before the onset of second winter, Thomas Lincoln brought home a second wife, a widow with three children. Abraham learned to love her and in later years referred to her as "my angel mother."

In 1830, the Lincoln family moved to Illinois. In Illinois, having no desire to work as a farmer, Lincoln tried his hand at a variety of occupations. As a 'railplitter' he helped clean and fence his father's new farm. As a flat boatman, he made a voyage down the Mississippi river to New Orleans and on his return, settled in New Salem. There he worked from time to time as a store-keeper, postmaster and surveyor. With the arrival of Black Hawk War (1832), he enlisted as a volunteer and was elected captain of his company. Meanwhile he considered blacksmithing as a trade but finally decided in favour of the law.

In 1836, Lincoln qualified himself to be a lawyer. Of humble origins, Lincoln was a self educated lawyer in frontier Illinois in the 1820s and 40s. She married Mary Todd in 1842. Four children were born thereafter. Before he began to be prominent in national politics, Lincoln had made himself one of the most distinguished and successful lawyers in Illinois. He was noted not only for his shrewdness and practical common sense, which enabled him always to see to the rub of any legal case, but also for him invariable fairness and utter honesty.
Lincoln did not, however, neglect politics, and in 1946 he was elected to the U.S. Congress After serving a term in Congress (1847-49), Lincoln became a Republican in 1856. Two years later he was engaged in a series of debates with Stephen A. Douglas in an attempt to gain Douglas' seat in the United States Senate. Despite his defeat at the pools, the debates made him a nationally known figure.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency in 1860 as a candidate of the Republican Party. He selected his cabinet. It was a strange group, chosen with the aim of representing all elements in the party. The skill with which Lincoln taught each of his men that he was their master and secured maximum service from them is one of the marks of his greatness. His period as President was wholly taken up with the war against the secessionist southern states who were predominantly agricultural and wanted to retain slavery as they considered it necessary for their country while the northern states with an industrial economy were in favour of the abolition of slavery. Thus, the whole country was bitterly divided over the question of abolition of slavery. The southern states had also formed a separate confederation and provoked the northern states to engage in an armed conflict. Though Lincoln's primary aim was neither to provoke war nor to maintain peace, but ultimately, he decided that war had become necessary for keeping the country united and the abolition of slavery. So, America was engulfed in a civil war that lasted for about four years, and in the end southern states were decisively defeated. Thus Lincoln proclaimed the slaves in the rebellious state, free in 1863.

On the strength of hard work, irreproachable character and determination, he rose to become the President of United States of America. Lincoln was assassinated by an insane actor while watching a theatrical performance in Washington D.C., just days after the Union Victory in 1865. The two historical achievements of Lincoln as President that made him so great were, the abolition of the abominable system of slavery and preservation of the unity and integrity of his country.

Americans thought of him as a martyr. The assassination had occurred on God Friday, and on the following Sunday, memorable as 'Black Easter', hundreds of speakers found a sermon in the event. Some of them saw more than mere chance in the fact that assassination day was also Crucification day. "One proclaimed" Jesus Christ died for the world; Abraham Lincoln Died For His Country". " Thus, the posthumous growth of his reputation was influenced by the timing and circumstances on his death, which won for him a kind of sainthood.