Historians see Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, as one of the country’s greatest leaders. During the American Civil War Lincoln promised to save the Union.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809. His parents, Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, were pioneer farmers.
In 1816 the family moved to Indiana. After Abe’s mother died, his father married Sarah Bush Johnston. In all, Abe went to school for less than a year.
In 1834 Lincoln was elected to the Illinois legislature. He was reelected three times. In 1847 he entered the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1849 he returned to his law practice.
Lincoln ran for president in 1860 and won. The Southern states feared that a Republican president would abolish slavery. They decided to secede from, or leave, the Union.
In 1864 Lincoln was elected to a second term as president. On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate army to Union leader General Ulysses S. Grant.
To celebrate the end of the war, Lincoln went to Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on the night of April 14. During the play John Wilkes Booth, a young actor and slavery supporter, shot Lincoln in the head.