President Lincoln in November 1863
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
Andrew Johnson (1865)
|Member of the |
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1849
|Member of the|
|Born||February 12, 1809|
|Died||April 15, 1865 (aged 56)|
|Cause of death|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Allegiance|| United States|
|Years of service||3 months|
(April 21 – July 10, 1832)
President of the United States
Assassination and legacy
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 16th
Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the
Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by carefully distributed political patronage and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His
An astute politician, knowledgeable concerning factional feuds in each state, Lincoln reached out to the War Democrats and managed his own re-election campaign in the
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, as the second child of
Lincoln's mother, Nancy, is widely assumed to have been the daughter of Lucy Hanks, although no record of Nancy Hanks' birth has ever been found. According to William Ensign Lincoln's book The Ancestry of Abraham Lincoln, Nancy was the daughter of Joseph Hanks; however, the debate continues over whether she was born out of wedlock. Still another researcher, Adin Baber, claims that Nancy Hanks was the daughter of Abraham Hanks and Sarah Harper of Virginia.
Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks were married on June 12, 1806, in Washington County, and moved to
Thomas Lincoln bought or leased several farms in Kentucky, including the Sinking Spring farm, where Abraham was born; however, a land title dispute soon forced the Lincolns to move. In 1811, the family moved eight miles (13 km) north, to
Of the 816.5 acres (330.4 ha) that Thomas held in Kentucky, he lost all but 200 acres (81 ha) of his land in court disputes over property titles. Frustrated over the lack of security provided by the Kentucky title survey system in the courts, Thomas sold the remaining land he held in Kentucky in 1814, and began planning a move to
In 1816, the family moved north across the
During the family's years in Kentucky and Indiana, Thomas Lincoln worked as a farmer, cabinetmaker, and carpenter. He owned farms, several town lots and livestock, paid taxes, sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, and guarded prisoners. Thomas and Nancy Lincoln were also members of a
Within a year of the family's arrival in Indiana, Thomas claimed title to 160 acres (65 ha) of Indiana land. Despite some financial challenges he eventually obtained clear title to 80 acres (32 ha) of land in what became known as the
Several significant family events took place during Lincoln's youth in Indiana. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of
On December 2, 1819, Lincoln's father married
As a youth, Lincoln disliked the hard labor associated with frontier life. Some of his neighbors and family members thought for a time that he was lazy for all his "reading, scribbling, writing, ciphering, writing Poetry, etc.", and must have done it to avoid manual labor. His stepmother also acknowledged he did not enjoy "physical labor", but loved to read.
Lincoln was largely self-educated. His formal schooling from several itinerant teachers was intermittent, the aggregate of which may have amounted to less than a year; however, he was an avid reader and retained a lifelong interest in learning. Family, neighbors, and schoolmates of Lincoln's youth recalled that he read and reread the
As he grew into his teens, Lincoln took responsibility for the chores expected of him as one of the boys in the household. He also complied with the customary obligation of a son giving his father all earnings from work done outside the home until the age of 21. Abraham became adept at using an axe. Tall for his age, Lincoln was also strong and athletic. He attained a reputation for brawn and audacity after a very competitive wrestling match with the renowned leader of a group of ruffians known as "the Clary's Grove boys".
In early March 1830, partly out of fear of a milk sickness outbreak along the Ohio River, several members of the extended Lincoln family moved west to Illinois, a non-slaveholding state, and settled in
After the family relocated to Illinois, Abraham became increasingly distant from his father, in part because of his father's lack of education, but occasionally lent him money. In 1831, as Thomas and other members of the family prepared to move to a
According to some sources, Lincoln's first romantic interest was
Late in 1836, Lincoln agreed to a match with Mary if she returned to New Salem. Mary did return in November 1836, and Lincoln courted her for a time; however, they both had second thoughts about their relationship. On August 16, 1837, Lincoln wrote Mary a letter suggesting he would not blame her if she ended the relationship. She never replied and the courtship ended.
In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to
He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband and father of four children.
The deaths of their sons had profound effects on both parents. Abraham Lincoln suffered from "
Lincoln's father-in-law and others of the Todd family were either slave owners or slave traders. Lincoln was close to the Todds, and he and his family occasionally visited the Todd estate in Lexington.
During his term as president of the United States, Mary was known to cook for Lincoln often. Since she was raised by a wealthy family, her cooking abilities were simple, but satisfied Lincoln's tastes, which included, particularly, imported oysters.