Abraham Lincoln

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					#16 Abraham Lincoln

“Honest Abe”
      Born: February 12, 1809 in
        Hodgenville KY.
      Parents: Thomas and
        Nancy (Hanks).
        Stepmother, Sarah Bush
      Wife: Mary (Todd) Lincoln
      Children: Robert, Edward,
        William, and Thomas
   Abraham Lincoln was born to illiterate farmers on the
    Kentucky frontier.
   Abraham‟s father was moderately successful and owned
    a several farms, but he was by no means successful.
   His family chose to move from Kentucky to Indiana to
    avoid a court battle over land rights.
   When he was nine years old, his mother Nancy died.
   Thomas remarried Sarah Bush shortly thereafter and
    young Abe came to care for her deeply.
   The Lincoln‟s were against slavery.
Lincoln‟s “Birthplace”
          Background Continued
   Lincoln‟s family moved again to Illinois, when he was 19.
   After a second move a few years later, Abe decided to
    move out on his own to New Salem Illinois.
   As a young man Lincoln worked on his father‟s farm, and
    he hired himself out to neighbors for work as well. He
    was said to be extremely handy with an axe, and split
    hundreds of rails for fences.
   Lincoln attended school for about 18 months in his life.
    He was, however, a serious reader, and borrowed books
    from anyone he could.
              Young Adulthood
   In 1831, Abe was hired to build a flatboat and
    take it and a load of produce to New Orleans.
   In New Salem, Lincoln split rails, worked at a
    store, and developed and interest in politics.
   He enlisted in the state militia as a private during
    the Black Hawk War, and was elected captain by
    his fellow soldiers. He commanded a company,
    but never saw action. He was mustered out of
    service as a private again.
Marriage in 1842
        Marriage and Mary Todd
   Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842, when she
    was 23 and he was 33.
   Mary Todd Lincoln was the daughter of a wealthy
    slaveholding family in Lexington, Kentucky.
   She was well educated and was thought to have a
    vibrant attitude, quick wit.
   Their relationship was thought to be good, but they
    experienced much sadness due to the loss of two son‟s.
    For some time she practiced spiritualism.
   Mary Todd was institutionalized by her son Robert due to
    her increased mental instability.
              Early Public Life
   Lincoln ran for the Illinois General Assembly and
    lost when he was only 23 years old.
   Was admitted to the Bar in 1837. Lincoln taught
    himself law, and was an able lawyer, and expert
    at cross-examination.
   Lincoln served four consecutive terms in the
    Illinois House of Representatives. It was here
    that he first spoke out against slavery (although
    he did support a law granting suffrage to whites
Going National
          Lincoln was elected to
           the U.S. House of
           Representatives in
           1846 and served 2
          He questioned the
           justness of the
           Mexican War, and
           lost support. He did
           not run again in 1848.
    Prairie Lawyer (with a patent)

   From 1848 to 1854, Lincoln went back to
    practicing law, traveling widely, appearing
    before the Illinois Supreme Court 175
    times and the U.S Supreme Court once.
   Lincoln also received a patent for a device
    he designed to stabilize river craft.
Return to the National Stage
                 In 1854 Lincoln ran for
                  the U.S. Senate as a
                  Whig and lost.
                 In 1856 Lincoln helped
                  form the Republican
                 The party was made up
                  of disenchanted
                  Democrats, ex-Whigs,
                  and Free-Soilers.
     The Most Famous Debate in
   In 1858 Lincoln Ran against Stephen Douglas for
    Senate. He did not win.
   During the campaign there were 7 debates.
   The format was that the first speaker had 60 minutes,
    the second had 90 minutes, and the the first speaker got
    30 minute “rejoinder”. Douglas spoke first in 4 of the
    debates, Lincoln in 3.
   The key issue was slavery, and Douglas appealed to
    white prejudices, while Lincoln discussed the hypocrisy
    of slavery, while dodging abolitionist charges.
Lincoln vs. Douglas
         Running For President
   Lincoln won the Republican Nomination for
    president in 1860, in part due to his moderate
    views on slavery. His Republican opponents at
    the convention were more zealous abolitionists.
   Lincoln did not make one speech during the
    campaign, but the Republican Party members
    produced posters, made speeches, and ran an
    active campaign.
      Election of 1860: The Most
            Important Ever*
   In the election of 1860, there were 4 major candidates:
    Rep. Lincoln, Dem. Stephen Douglas, Dem. John
    Breckinridge, and John Bell of the Union Party.
   Lincoln received 1,866,452 votes, Douglas 1,376,959,
    Breckinridge 849,781, and Bell 588,789. In all, 2,815,527
    people voted against Lincoln in the popular vote, but not
    for the same candidate. Lincoln was not even on the
    ballot in 10 Southern states.
   In the electoral college, Lincoln won 180-123.
Election of 1860
             To the White House
              (and that beard)
   Lincoln left Illinois
    believing that the task
    ahead of him was greater
    even than his hero
    George Washington (he
    was heavily guarded.
   Before the election,
    Lincoln received a letter
    from a little girl from New
    York, Grace Bedell,
    asking that he grow a
    beard. He did.
   Lincoln was known as a man with a great sense
    of humor, who loved to tell funny stories, and
    pull practical jokes.
   Lincoln worked hard all his life, and had great
    admiration for self-made men such as himself.
    He had a tough relationship with his father in
    part because of this.
   Lincoln was prone to “melancholy” for much of
    his life. Most psychologists believe he probably
    suffered from clinical depression.
          Personality Continued
   As a young man Lincoln was quite strong and
    engaged in wrestling matches against many
    opponents, winning some and losing some.
   Lincoln was known as a sly politician, and for his
    quick wit.
   Lincoln‟s reputation for honesty began with a
    story that he had borrowed a book from a
    neighbor that he had put in a knothole of his
    boyhood home. The book was soaked after a
    rain, and so he worked for weeks to pay for it.
   After Lincoln was elected, South Carolina seceded from
    the Union on December 20, 1860. Florida, Mississippi,
    Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas did so by
    February 1, 1861.
   When Confederate troops fired on Ft. Sumter, and
    Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, Virginia, North
    Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas also seceded,
    bringing the total of seceding states to 11. Kentucky,
    Delaware, Missouri, and Maryland did not secede,
    despite their status as slave states.
The C.S.A.
            Civil War President
   Lincoln‟s entire presidency was spent dealing
    with the Civil War and Reconstruction.
   Immediately Lincoln had problems with his
    generals. Throughout the war he had as
    commanders: Irvin McDowell, George
    McClellan, John Pope, McClellan again,
    Ambrose Burnside, Joseph Hooker, George
    Meade, and Ulysses S. Grant. None was
    effective except for Grant, who did not take
    complete command until 1864.
            Civil War President
   Lincoln worked diligently to familiarize himself
    with military tactics and technology.
   Union forces fared poorly in the war at first, with
    disastrous losses at both Battles of Bull Run,
    Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.
   Even when the Union troops did well, they could
    not capitalize on their success in the Peninsula
    Campaign, Antietam, and Gettysburg.
              Civil War President
   Union troops were successful though, in the Western
    Campaigns at Shiloh and Vicksburg, the latter of which
    gave them control of the Mississippi.
   Eventually Lincoln realized that Grant is the right general
    to lead the whole Union Army.
   Grant adopts Winfield Scott‟s Anaconda Plan, which he
    first put into place by capturing Vicksburg. He next sent
    William Tecumseh Sherman to capture Atlanta and then
    march to the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, he attacks Robert
    E. Lee in the vicious campaign of 1864. This campaign
    ended in the siege of Petersburg that summer.
             Civil War President
   Sherman captured Atlanta and marched to Savannah,
    and was in the process of invading the Carolinas by the
    Spring of 1865, using “total warfare”.
   Phillip Sheridan laid waste to the Shenandoah Valley,
    destroying much valuable farmland, again using „total
   The Army of the Potomac finally ended the siege of
    Petersburg, and eventually forced the Army of Northern
    Virginia to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April
    9, 1865. The rest of the Confederates surrendered within
    a short while.
      The Hardships of Civil War
   The Civil War was the bloodiest war in U.S. history, and
    one of the bloodiest in all of history. It literally pitted
    families against one another, including the family of
    Lincoln‟s own wife.
   The casualties in the Civil War were especially ghastly
    and Lincoln spent a great deal of time with the wounded.
    This effected him tremendously (Not to mention the
    death of his beloved son Willie, which occurred during
    the war).
               Domestic Policy
Lincoln had many important domestic policies that often go
   overlooked, such as:
 The Revenue Act of 1861, which established the first tax,
   and the reworking of the same act in 1862.
 Legal Tender Act of 1862 (first paper money)

 Pacific Railway Acts of 1862 &1864, which eventually
   would lead to the Transcontinental Railroad.
 Homestead Act of 1862, granting 160 acres of land to
   anyone willing to live on it and cultivate it for 5 years.
 National Banking Acts, which strengthen federal banks.
     Suspending Habeas Corpus

   Habeas Corpus is a writ of law that protects
    people from unlawful detention or arrest.
   President Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus in
    1862, in accordance with the suspension clause
    located in Article I of the Constitution.
      Emancipation Proclamation
   Lincoln was initially hesitant to attempt to emancipate the
    slaves, fearing any such measure would turn the border
    states against the union and that Northerners who fought
    for sustaining the Union only, would also turn against
   After the Union “victory” at Antietam, Lincoln felt he had
    enough political capital to do it.
   The proclamation was made on September 22, 1862,
    and was put in effect on January 1, 1863.
   It only freed slaves in the states that were in rebellion,
    thus they were not actually free until Union troops got to
              “Let em‟ up easy.”
   Lincoln favored an easy reconciliation with the South and
    wanted generous terms.
   He made the Amnesty Proclamation, which gave
    amnesty to anyone who had not held civil office in the
    C.S.A., had not harmed Union P.O.W‟s, and would sign
    a pledge of allegiance.
   Lincoln vetoed a measure that would make it harder for a
    state to rejoin the Union.
   In regards to the free slaves, Lincoln suggested
    colonization, but it was never seriously pursued due to
   President Lincoln attended a play called “Our American
    Cousin” at Ford‟s Theater in Washington on April 14,
   He was killed there by John Wilkes Booth, a well known
    actor and Confederate spy.
   Lincoln was pronounced dead the next day.
   The assassination was part of the plot to kill not only
    Lincoln but also Secretary of State William Seward and
    Vice President Andrew Johnson.
   Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated.
   Lincoln is considered to be one of the top presidents of all time. His
    is one of four faces on Mt. Rushmore.
   Lincoln is known for his able presidency during the worst war in our
    history and the Emancipation Proclamation. He also supported the
    13th Amendment, but did not live to see it ratified.
   Some historians have minimized Lincoln‟s freeing of the slaves,
    indicating that the slaves freed themselves by fleeing to the Union
    lines and then joining the Union Army.
   The establishment of the Homestead Act and the Pacific Railways
    Act were critical actions that helped extend America to the west.
   Lincoln is also remembered by historians as a shrewd politician.
   Lincoln is Lunsford‟s second favorite president.

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