Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky on February 12th, 1809. He moved to Indiana in 1816 and lived there the rest of his youth. His mother died when he was nine but he was very close to his stepmother who urged him to read. He loved to read and learn from any books he could get his hands on.
In 1832, Lincoln enlisted to fight in the Black Hawk War. He was quickly elected to the rank of captain of a company of volunteers. His company joined regulars under Colonel Zachary Taylor. He served 30 days and then signed on as a private in the mounted Rangers. Later he joined the Independent Spy Corps.
Lincoln was nominated for the presidency by the Republican Party with Hannibal Hamlin as his running mate. He ran on a platform denouncing disunion and calling for an end to slavery in the territories. The Democrats were divided with Stephen Douglas representing the Democrats and John Breckinridge the National (Southern) Democrats. John Bell ran for the Constitutional Union Party which basically took votes from Douglas. In the end, Lincoln won 40% of the popular vote and 180 of the 303 electors.
In 1846 Lincoln was reelected. The Republican Party had a concern that Lincoln wouldn't win but still renominated him with Andrew Johnson as his Vice President. Their platform demanded unconditional surrender and the official end to slavery. His opponent, George McClellan, had been relieved as the head of the Union armies by Lincoln. His platform was that the war was a failure, and Lincoln had taken away too many civil liberties. Lincoln won because the war turned in the North's favor during the campaign.
On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated while attending a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. Actor John Wilkes Booth shot him in the back of the head before jumping onto the stage and escaping to Maryland. Lincoln died on April 15th. On April 26th, Booth was found hiding in a barn which was set on fire. He was then shot and killed. Eight conspirators were punished for their roles.
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S Address at Gettysburg 1863
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or
any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on
a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of
that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives
that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that
we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we
can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or
detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say
here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the
living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they
who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to
be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from
these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation,
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of
the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the
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