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Abraham Lincoln

abraham lincoln, abraham lincoln quotes
President of the United States

First term

  • Campaign for the Presidency
    • 1860
  • 1st inauguration
  • Presidency
  • American Civil War
  • The Union
  • Waging war
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Gettysburg Address
  • 13th Amendment

Second term

  • Reelection
    • 1864
  • 2nd inauguration
  • Second inaugural address
  • Reconstruction

Assassination and legacy

  • Assassination
  • Funeral
  • Legacy
  • Memorials
  • Depictions

  • v
  • e

Abraham Lincoln i/ˈeɪbrəhæm ˈlɪŋkən/; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865 was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865 Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy

Born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the western frontier in Kentucky and Indiana Largely self-educated, he became a lawyer in Illinois, a Whig Party leader, and was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, in which he served for eight years Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846, Lincoln promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, tariffs, and railroads Because he had originally agreed not to run for a second term in Congress, and because his opposition to the Mexican–American War was unpopular among Illinois voters, Lincoln returned to Springfield and resumed his successful law practice Reentering politics in 1854, he became a leader in building the new Republican Party, which had a statewide majority in Illinois In 1858, while taking part in a series of highly publicized debates with his opponent and rival, Democrat Stephen A Douglas, Lincoln spoke out against the expansion of slavery, but lost the US Senate race to Douglas

In 1860, Lincoln secured the Republican Party presidential nomination as a moderate from a swing state Though he gained very little support in the slaveholding states of the South, he swept the North and was elected president in 1860 Lincoln's victory prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederate States of America before he moved into the White House - no compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery and secession Subsequently, on April 12, 1861, a Confederate attack on Fort Sumter inspired the North to enthusiastically rally behind the Union As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats, who called for more compromise, anti-war Democrats called Copperheads, who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination Politically, Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by carefully planned political patronage, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory His Gettysburg Address became an iconic endorsement of the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy

Lincoln initially concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war His primary goal was to reunite the nation He suspended habeas corpus, leading to the controversial ex parte Merryman decision, and he averted potential British intervention in the war by defusing the Trent Affair in late 1861 Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including his most successful general, Ulysses S Grant He also made major decisions on Union war strategy, including a naval blockade that shut down the South's normal trade, moves to take control of Kentucky and Tennessee, and using gunboats to gain control of the southern river system Lincoln tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond; each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another, until finally Grant succeeded As the war progressed, his complex moves toward ending slavery included the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; Lincoln used the US Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraged the border states to outlaw slavery, and pushed through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which permanently outlawed slavery

An exceptionally astute politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, Lincoln reached out to the War Democrats and managed his own re-election campaign in the 1864 presidential election Anticipating the war's conclusion, Lincoln pushed a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to reunite the nation speedily through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness On April 14, 1865, five days after the April 9th surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer

Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as among the three greatest US presidents


  • 1 Family and childhood
    • 11 Early life and family ancestry
    • 12 Marriage and children
  • 2 Early career and militia service
  • 3 US House of Representatives, 1847–49
  • 4 Prairie lawyer
  • 5 Republican politics 1854–60
    • 51 Slavery and a "House Divided"
    • 52 Lincoln–Douglas debates and Cooper Union speech
    • 53 1860 Presidential nomination and campaign
  • 6 Presidency
    • 61 1860 election and secession
    • 62 Beginning of the war
    • 63 Assuming command for the Union in the war
    • 64 General McClellan
    • 65 Emancipation Proclamation
    • 66 Gettysburg Address 1863
    • 67 General Grant
    • 68 1864 re-election
    • 69 Reconstruction
    • 610 Redefining the republic and republicanism
    • 611 Other enactments
    • 612 Judicial appointments
      • 6121 Supreme Court appointments
      • 6122 Other judicial appointments
    • 613 States admitted to the Union
  • 7 Assassination and funeral
  • 8 Religious and philosophical beliefs
  • 9 Health
  • 10 Historical reputation
  • 11 Memory and memorials
  • 12 See also
  • 13 References
  • 14 Bibliography
    • 141 Cited in footnotes
    • 142 Historiography
    • 143 Additional references
  • 15 External links

Family and childhood

Early life and family ancestry

Main article: Early life and career of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky now LaRue County He was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, who migrated from Norfolk, England to Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638 Samuel's grandson and great-grandson began the family's western migration, which passed through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved the family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky in the 1780s Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian raid in 1786 His children, including six-year-old Thomas, the future president's father, witnessed the attack After his father's murder, Thomas was left to make his own way on the frontier, working at odd jobs in Kentucky and in Tennessee, before settling with members of his family in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s

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 Elizabethtown, Kentucky, following their marriage They became the parents of three children: Sarah, born on February 10, 1807; Abraham, on February 12, 1809; and another son, Thomas, who died in infancy 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 Knob Creek Farm, where Thomas acquired title to 230 acres 93 ha of land In 1815 a claimant in another land dispute sought to eject the family from the farm Of the 8165 acres 330 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 Kentucky courts, Thomas sold the remaining land he held in Kentucky in 1814, and began planning a move to Indiana, where the land survey process was more reliable and the ability for an individual to retain land titles was more secure

In 1816 the family moved north across the Ohio River to Indiana, a free, non-slaveholding territory, where they settled in an "unbroken forest" in Hurricane Township, Perry County Their land in southern Indiana became part of Spencer County, Indiana, when the county was established in 1818 The farm is preserved as part of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial In 1860 Lincoln noted that the family's move to Indiana was "partly on account of slavery"; but mainly due to land title difficulties in Kentucky 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 Separate Baptists church, which had restrictive moral standards and opposed alcohol, dancing, and slavery 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 Little Pigeon Creek Community in Spencer County Prior to the family's move to Illinois in 1830, Thomas had acquired an additional twenty acres of land adjacent to his property

The young Lincoln in sculpture at Senn Park, Chicago

Several significant family events took place during Lincoln's youth in Indiana On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving eleven-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, nine-year-old Abraham, and Dennis Hanks, Nancy's nineteen-year-old orphaned cousin On December 2, 1819, Lincoln's father married Sarah "Sally" Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with three children of her own Abraham became very close to his stepmother, whom he referred to as "Mother" Those who knew Lincoln as a teenager later recalled him being very distraught over his sister Sarah's death on January 20, 1828, while giving birth to a stillborn son

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 King James Bible, Aesop's Fables, Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Weems's The Life of Washington, and Franklin's Autobiography, among others

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 twenty-one 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, fearing a milk sickness outbreak along the Ohio River, the Lincoln family moved west to Illinois, a non-slaveholding state They settled on a site in Macon County, Illinois, 10 miles 16 km west of Decatur Historians disagree on who initiated the move After the family relocated to Illinois, Abraham became increasingly distant from his father, in part because of his father's lack of education, and occasionally lent him money In 1831, as Thomas and other members of the family prepared to move to a new homestead in Coles County, Illinois, Abraham was old enough to make his own decisions and struck out on his own Traveling down the Sangamon River, he ended up in the village of New Salem in Sangamon County Later that spring, Denton Offutt, a New Salem merchant, hired Lincoln and some friends to take goods by flatboat from New Salem to New Orleans via the Sangamon, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers After arriving in New Orleans—and witnessing slavery firsthand—Lincoln returned to New Salem, where he remained for the next six years

Marriage and children

Further information: Lincoln family tree and Medical and mental health of Abraham Lincoln 1864 photo of President Lincoln with youngest son, Tad Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, age 28

Lincoln's first romantic interest was Ann Rutledge, whom he met when he first moved to New Salem; by 1835, they were in a relationship but not formally engaged She died at the age of 22 on August 25, 1835, most likely of typhoid fever In the early 1830s, he met Mary Owens from Kentucky when she was visiting her sister

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 Mary Todd, who was from a wealthy slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky They met in Springfield, Illinois, in December 1839 and were engaged the following December A wedding set for January 1, 1841, was canceled when the two broke off their engagement at Lincoln's initiative They later met again at a party and married on November 4, 1842, in the Springfield mansion of Mary's married sister While preparing for the nuptials and feeling anxiety again, Lincoln, when asked where he was going, replied, "To hell, I suppose" In 1844, the couple bought a house in Springfield near Lincoln's law office Mary Todd Lincoln kept house, often with the help of a relative or hired servant girl

He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband and father of four children Robert Todd Lincoln was born in 1843 and Edward Baker Lincoln Eddie in 1846 Edward died on February 1, 1850, in Springfield, probably of tuberculosis "Willie" Lincoln was born on December 21, 1850, and died of a fever on February 20, 1862 The Lincolns' fourth son, Thomas "Tad" Lincoln, was born on April 4, 1853, and died of heart failure at the age of 18 on July 16, 1871 Robert was the only child to live to adulthood and have children The Lincolns' last descendant, great-grandson Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, died in 1985 Lincoln "was remarkably fond of children", and the Lincolns were not considered to be strict with their own

The deaths of their sons had profound effects on both parents Later in life, Mary struggled with the stresses of losing her husband and sons, and Robert Lincoln committed her temporarily to a mental health asylum in 1875 Abraham Lincoln suffered from "melancholy", a condition which now is referred to as clinical depression

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 of America, 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

Early career and militia service

Further information: Early life and career of Abraham Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War Lincoln depicted protecting a Native American from his own men in a scene often related about Lincoln's service during the Black Hawk War

In 1832, at age 23, Lincoln and a partner bought a small general store on credit in New Salem, Illinois Although the economy was booming in the region, the business struggled and Lincoln eventually sold his share That March he began his political career with his first campaign for the Illinois General Assembly He had attained local popularity and could draw crowds as a natural raconteur in New Salem, though he lacked an education, powerful friends, and money, which may be why he lost He advocated navigational improvements on the Sangamon River

Before the election, Lincoln served as a captain in the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War Following his return, Lincoln continued his campaign for the August 6 election for the Illinois General Assembly At 6 feet 4 inches 193 cm, he was tall and "strong enough to intimidate any rival" At his first speech, when he saw a supporter in the crowd being attacked, Lincoln grabbed the assailant by his "neck and the seat of his trousers" and threw him Lincoln finished eighth out of 13 candidates the top four were elected, though he received 277 of the 300 votes cast in the New Salem precinct

Lincoln served as New Salem's postmaster and later as county surveyor, all the while reading voraciously He then decided to become a lawyer and began teaching himself law by reading Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England and other law books Of his learning method, Lincoln stated: "I studied with nobody" His second campaign in 1834 was successful He won election to the state legislature; though he ran as a Whig, many Democrats favored him over a more powerful Whig opponent

Admitted to the bar in 1836, he moved to Springfield, Illinois, and began to practice law under John T Stuart, Mary Todd's cousin Lincoln became an able and successful lawyer with a reputation as a formidable adversary during cross-examinations and closing arguments He partnered with Stephen T Logan from 1841 until 1844 Then Lincoln began his practice with William Herndon, whom Lincoln thought "a studious young man"

Successful on his second run for office, Lincoln served four successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives as a Whig representative from Sangamon County He supported the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which he remained involved with later as a Canal Commissioner In the 1835–36 legislative session, he voted to expand suffrage to white males, whether landowners or not He was known for his "free soil" stance of opposing both slavery and abolitionism He first articulated this in 1837, saying, " Institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy, but the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils" His stance closely followed Henry Clay in supporting the American Colonization Society program of making the abolition of slavery practical by its advocation and helping the freed slaves to settle in Liberia in Africa

US House of Representatives, 1847–49

Lincoln in his late 30s as a member of the US House of Representatives Photo taken by one of Lincoln's law students around 1846

From the early 1830s, Lincoln was a steadfast Whig and professed to friends in 1861 to be "an old line Whig, a disciple of Henry Clay" The party, including Lincoln, favored economic modernization in banking, protective tariffs to fund internal improvements including railroads, and espoused urbanization as well

In 1846, Lincoln was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he served one two-year term He was the only Whig in the Illinois delegation, but he showed his party loyalty by participating in almost all votes and making speeches that echoed the party line Lincoln, in collaboration with abolitionist Congressman Joshua R Giddings, wrote a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation for the owners, enforcement to capture fugitive slaves, and a popular vote on the matter He abandoned the bill when it failed to garner sufficient Whig supporters

On foreign and military policy, Lincoln spoke out against the Mexican–American War, which he attributed to President Polk's desire for "military glory—that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood" Lincoln also supported the Wilmot Proviso, which, if it had been adopted, would have banned slavery in any US territory won from Mexico

Lincoln emphasized his opposition to Polk by drafting and introducing his Spot Resolutions The war had begun with a Mexican slaughter of American soldiers in territory disputed by Mexico and the US Polk insisted that Mexican soldiers had "invaded our territory and shed the blood of our fellow-citizens on our own soil" Lincoln demanded that Polk show Congress the exact spot on which blood had been shed and prove that the spot was on American soil

Congress never enacted the resolution or even debated it, the national papers ignored it, and it resulted in a loss of political support for Lincoln in his district One Illinois newspaper derisively nicknamed him "spotty Lincoln" Lincoln later regretted some of his statements, especially his attack on the presidential war-making powers

Realizing Clay was unlikely to win the presidency, Lincoln, who had pledged in 1846 to serve only one term in the House, supported General Zachary Taylor for the Whig nomination in the 1848 presidential election Taylor won and Lincoln hoped to be appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office, but that lucrative patronage job went to an Illinois rival, Justin Butterfield, considered by the administration to be a highly skilled lawyer, but in Lincoln's view, an "old fossil" The administration offered him the consolation prize of secretary or governor of the Oregon Territory This distant territory was a Democratic stronghold, and acceptance of the post would have effectively ended his legal and political career in Illinois, so he declined and resumed his law practice

Prairie lawyer

Lincoln in 1857

Lincoln returned to practicing law in Springfield, handling "every kind of business that could come before a prairie lawyer" Twice a year for 16 years, 10 weeks at a time, he appeared in county seats in the midstate region when the county courts were in session Lincoln handled many transportation cases in the midst of the nation's western expansion, particularly the conflicts arising from the operation of river barges under the many new railroad bridges As a riverboat man, Lincoln initially favored those interests, but ultimately represented whoever hired him In fact, he later represented a bridge company against a riverboat company in a landmark case involving a canal boat that sank after hitting a bridge In 1849, he received a patent for a flotation device for the movement of boats in shallow water The idea was never commercialized, but Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent

In 1851, he represented the Alton & Sangamon Railroad in a dispute with one of its shareholders, James A Barret, who had refused to pay the balance on his pledge to buy shares in the railroad on the grounds that the company had changed its original train route Lincoln successfully argued that the railroad company was not bound by its original charter extant at the time of Barret's pledge; the charter was amended in the public interest to provide a newer, superior, and less expensive route, and the corporation retained the right to demand Barret's payment The decision by the Illinois Supreme Court has been cited by numerous other courts in the nation Lincoln appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court in 175 cases, in 51 as sole counsel, of which 31 were decided in his favor From 1853 to 1860, another of Lincoln's largest clients was the Illinois Central Railroad Lincoln's reputation with clients gave rise to his nickname "Honest Abe"

Lincoln's most notable criminal trial occurred in 1858 when he defended William "Duff" Armstrong, who was on trial for the murder of James Preston Metzker The case is famous for Lincoln's use of a fact established by judicial notice in order to challenge the credibility of an eyewitness After an opposing witness testified seeing the crime in the moonlight, Lincoln produced a Farmers' Almanac showing the moon was at a low angle, drastically reducing visibility Based on this evidence, Armstrong was acquitted

Lincoln rarely raised objections in the courtroom; but in an 1859 case, where he defended a cousin, Peachy Harrison, who was accused of stabbing another to death, Lincoln angrily protested the judge's decision to exclude evidence favorable to his client Instead of holding Lincoln in contempt of court as was expected, the judge, a Democrat, reversed his ruling, allowing the evidence and acquitting Harrison

Republican politics 1854–60

Slavery and a "House Divided"

Further information: Slave and free states and Abraham Lincoln and slavery

By the 1850s, slavery was still legal in the southern United States, but had been outlawed in all the northern states since 1803, including Illinois, whose original 1818 Constitution forbade slavery Lincoln disapproved of slavery, but he only demanded the end to the spread of slavery to new territory in the west He returned to politics to oppose the pro-slavery Kansas–Nebraska Act 1854; this law repealed the slavery-restricting Missouri Compromise 1820 Senior Senator Stephen A Douglas of Illinois had incorporated popular sovereignty into the Act Douglas' provision, which Lincoln opposed, specified settlers had the right to determine locally whether to allow slavery in new US territory, rather than have such a decision restricted by the national Congress

Eric Foner 2010 contrasts the abolitionists and anti-slavery Radical Republicans of the Northeast who saw slavery as a sin, with the conservative Republicans who thought it was bad because it hurt white people and blocked progress Foner argues that Lincoln was a moderate in the middle, opposing slavery primarily because it violated the republicanism principles of the Founding Fathers, especially the equality of all men and democratic self-government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence

A portrait of Dred Scott Lincoln denounced the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v Sandford as part of a conspiracy to extend slavery

On October 16, 1854, in his "Peoria Speech", Lincoln declared his opposition to slavery, which he repeated en route to the presidency Speaking in his Kentucky accent, with a very powerful voice, he said the Kansas Act had a "declared indifference, but as I must think, a covert real zeal for the spread of slavery I cannot but hate it I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world "

In late 1854, Lincoln ran as a Whig for the US Senate At that time, senators were elected by the state legislature After leading in the first six rounds of voting, but unable to obtain a majority, Lincoln instructed his backers to vote for Lyman Trumbull Trumbull was an antislavery Democrat, and had received few votes in the earlier ballots; his supporters, also antislavery Democrats, had vowed not to support any Whig Lincoln's decision to withdraw enabled his Whig supporters and Trumbull's antislavery Democrats to combine and defeat the mainstream Democratic candidate, Joel Aldrich Matteson

Nationally, the Whigs had been irreparably split by the Kansas–Nebraska Act and other efforts to compromise on the slavery issue Lincoln wrote, "I think I am a Whig, but others say there are no Whigs, and that I am an abolitionist I do no more than oppose the extension of slavery" Drawing on the antislavery portion of the Whig Party, and combining Free Soil, Liberty, and antislavery Democratic Party members, the new Republican Party formed as a northern party dedicated to antislavery Lincoln was one of those instrumental in forging the shape of the new party; at the 1856 Republican National Convention, he placed second in the contest to become its candidate for vice president

In 1857–1858, Douglas broke with President James Buchanan, leading to a fight for control of the Democratic Party Some eastern Republicans even favored the reelection of Douglas for the Senate in 1858, since he had led the opposition to the Lecompton Constitution, which would have admitted Kansas as a slave state In March 1857, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dred Scott v Sandford; Chief Justice Roger B Taney opined that blacks were not citizens, and derived no rights from the Constitution Lincoln denounced the decision, alleging it was the product of a conspiracy of Democrats to support the Slave Power Lincoln argued, "The authors of the Declaration of Independence never intended 'to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity', but they 'did consider all men created equal—equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'"

After the state Republican party convention nominated him for the US Senate in 1858, Lincoln delivered his House Divided Speech, drawing on Mark 3:25, "A house divided against itself cannot stand I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided It will become all one thing, or all the other" The speech created an evocative image of the danger of disunion caused by the slavery debate, and rallied Republicans across the North The stage was then set for the campaign for statewide election of the Illinois legislature which would, in turn, select Lincoln or Douglas as its US senator

Lincoln–Douglas debates and Cooper Union speech

Further information: Lincoln–Douglas debates and Cooper Union speech Lincoln in 1858, the year of his debates with Stephen Douglas over slavery

The Senate campaign featured the seven Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858, the most famous political debates in American history The principals stood in stark contrast both physically and politically Lincoln warned that "The Slave Power" was threatening the values of republicanism, and accused Douglas of distorting the values of the Founding Fathers that all men are created equal, while Douglas emphasized his Freeport Doctrine, that local settlers were free to choose whether to allow slavery or not, and accused Lincoln of having joined the abolitionists The debates had an atmosphere of a prize fight and drew crowds in the thousands Lincoln stated Douglas' popular sovereignty theory was a threat to the nation's morality and that Douglas represented a conspiracy to extend slavery to free states Douglas said that Lincoln was defying the authority of the US Supreme Court and the Dred Scott decision

Though the Republican legislative candidates won more popular votes, the Democrats won more seats, and the legislature re-elected Douglas to the Senate Despite the bitterness of the defeat for Lincoln, his articulation of the issues gave him a national political reputation In May 1859, Lincoln purchased the Illinois Staats-Anzeiger, a German-language newspaper which was consistently supportive; most of the state's 130,000 German Americans voted Democratic but there was Republican support that a German-language paper could mobilize

On February 27, 1860, New York party leaders invited Lincoln to give a speech at Cooper Union to a group of powerful Republicans Lincoln argued that the Founding Fathers had little use for popular sovereignty and had repeatedly sought to restrict slavery Lincoln insisted the moral foundation of the Republicans required opposition to slavery, and rejected any "groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong" Despite his inelegant appearance—many in the audience thought him awkward and even ugly—Lincoln demonstrated an intellectual leadership that brought him into the front ranks of the party and into contention for the Republican presidential nomination Journalist Noah Brooks reported, "No man ever before made such an impression on his first appeal to a New York audience"

Historian Donald described the speech as a "superb political move for an unannounced candidate, to appear in one rival's William H Seward own state at an event sponsored by the second rival's Salmon P Chase loyalists, while not mentioning either by name during its delivery" In response to an inquiry about his presidential intentions, Lincoln said, "The taste is in my mouth a little"

1860 Presidential nomination and campaign

Main articles: Electoral history of Abraham Lincoln and United States presidential election, 1860 "The Rail Candidate"—Lincoln's 1860 candidacy is depicted as held up by the slavery issue—a slave on the left and party organization on the right

On May 9–10, 1860, the Illinois Republican State Convention was held in Decatur Lincoln's followers organized a campaign team led by David Davis, Norman Judd, Leonard Swett, and Jesse DuBois, and Lincoln received his first endorsement to run for the presidency Exploiting the embellished legend of his frontier days with his father clearing the land and splitting fence rails with an ax, Lincoln's supporters adopted the label of "The Rail Candidate" In 1860 Lincoln described himself : "I am in height, six feet, four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing, on an average, one hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair, and gray eyes" His biographers added that he had a:

Large head, with high crown of skull; thick, bushy hair; large and deep eye-caverns; heavy eyebrows; a large nose; large ears; large mouth; thin upper and somewhat thick under lip; very high and prominent cheek-bones; cheeks thin and sunken; strongly developed jawbone; chin slightly upturned; a thin but sinewy neck, rather long; long arms; large hands; chest thin and narrow as compared with his great height; legs of more than proportionate length, and large feet

On May 18, at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Lincoln's friends promised and manipulated and won the nomination on the third ballot, beating candidates such as William H Seward and Salmon P Chase A former Democrat, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, was nominated for Vice President to balance the ticket Lincoln's success depended on his reputation as a moderate on the slavery issue, and his strong support for Whiggish programs of internal improvements and the protective tariff

On the third ballot Pennsylvania put him over the top Pennsylvania iron interests were reassured by his support for protective tariffs Lincoln's managers had been adroitly focused on this delegation as well as the others, while following Lincoln's strong dictate to "Make no contracts that bind me"

Most Republicans agreed with Lincoln that the North was the aggrieved party, as the Slave Power tightened its grasp on the national government with the Dred Scott decision and the presidency of James Buchanan Throughout the 1850s, Lincoln doubted the prospects of civil war, and his supporters rejected claims that his election would incite secession Meanwhile, Douglas was selected as the candidate of the Northern Democrats Delegates from 11 slave states walked out of the Democratic convention, disagreeing with Douglas' position on popular sovereignty, and ultimately selected John C Breckinridge as their candidate

The Wide Awake Parade was formed in 1860 by Republicans in the Northern states to help nominate Abraham Lincoln as the President of the United States As Lincoln's ideas of abolishing slavery grew, so did his supporters People of the Northern states knew the Southern states would vote against Lincoln because of his ideas of anti-slavery and took action to rally supporters for Lincoln

As Douglas and the other candidates went through with their campaigns, Lincoln was the only one of them who gave no speeches Instead, he monitored the campaign closely and relied on the enthusiasm of the Republican Party The party did the leg work that produced majorities across the North, and produced an abundance of campaign posters, leaflets, and newspaper editorials There were thousands of Republican speakers who focused first on the party platform, and second on Lincoln's life story, emphasizing his childhood poverty The goal was to demonstrate the superior power of "free labor", whereby a common farm boy could work his way to the top by his own efforts The Republican Party's production of campaign literature dwarfed the combined opposition; a Chicago Tribune writer produced a pamphlet that detailed Lincoln's life, and sold 100,000 to 200,000 copies


Main article: Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

1860 election and secession

Main articles: United States presidential election, 1860 and Baltimore Plot In 1860, northern and western electoral votes shown in red put Lincoln into the White House March 1861 inaugural at the Capitol building The dome above the rotunda was still under construction

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Democrat Stephen A Douglas, John C Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats, and John Bell of the new Constitutional Union Party He was the first president from the Republican Party His victory was entirely due to the strength of his support in the North and West; no ballots were cast for him in 10 of the 15 Southern slave states, and he won only two of 996 counties in all the Southern states

Lincoln received 1,866,452 votes, Douglas 1,376,957 votes, Breckinridge 849,781 votes, and Bell 588,789 votes Turnout was 822 percent, with Lincoln winning the free Northern states, as well as California and Oregon Douglas won Missouri, and split New Jersey with Lincoln Bell won Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and Breckinridge won the rest of the South

Although Lincoln won only a plurality of the popular vote, his victory in the electoral college was decisive: Lincoln had 180 and his opponents added together had only 123 There were fusion tickets in which all of Lincoln's opponents combined to support the same slate of Electors in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, but even if the anti-Lincoln vote had been combined in every state, Lincoln still would have won a majority in the Electoral College

The first photographic image of the new president

As Lincoln's election became evident, secessionists made clear their intent to leave the Union before he took office the next March On December 20, 1860, South Carolina took the lead by adopting an ordinance of secession; by February 1, 1861, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed Six of these states then adopted a constitution and declared themselves to be a sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America The upper South and border states Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas listened to, but initially rejected, the secessionist appeal President Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln refused to recognize the Confederacy, declaring secession illegal The Confederacy selected Jefferson Davis as its provisional President on February 9, 1861

There were attempts at compromise The Crittenden Compromise would have extended the Missouri Compromise line of 1820, dividing the territories into slave and free, contrary to the Republican Party's free-soil platform Lincoln rejected the idea, saying, "I will suffer death before I consent  to any concession or compromise which looks like buying the privilege to take possession of this government to which we have a constitutional right"

Lincoln, however, did tacitly support the proposed Corwin Amendment to the Constitution, which passed Congress before Lincoln came into office and was then awaiting ratification by the states That proposed amendment would have protected slavery in states where it already existed and would have guaranteed that Congress would not interfere with slavery without Southern consent A few weeks before the war, Lincoln sent a letter to every governor informing them Congress had passed a joint resolution to amend the Constitution Lincoln was open to the possibility of a constitutional convention to make further amendments to the Constitution

En route to his inauguration by train, Lincoln addressed crowds and legislatures across the North The president-elect then evaded possible assassins in Baltimore, who were uncovered by Lincoln's head of security, Allan Pinkerton On February 23, 1861, he arrived in disguise in Washington, DC, which was placed under substantial military guard Lincoln directed his inaugural address to the South, proclaiming once again that he had no intention, or inclination, to abolish slavery in the Southern states:

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so"

— First inaugural address, 4 March 1861

The President ended his address with an appeal to the people of the South: "We are not enemies, but friends We must not be enemies  The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature" The failure of the Peace Conference of 1861 signaled that legislative compromise was impossible By March 1861, no leaders of the insurrection had proposed rejoining the Union on any terms Meanwhile, Lincoln and the Republican leadership agreed that the dismantling of the Union could not be tolerated Lincoln said as the war was ending:

Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the Nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came

Beginning of the war

Main articles: American Civil War and Battle of Fort Sumter Major Anderson, Ft Sumter commander

The commander of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Major Robert Anderson, sent a request for provisions to Washington, and the execution of Lincoln's order to meet that request was seen by the secessionists as an act of war On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired on Union troops at Fort Sumter, forcing them to surrender, and began the war Historian Allan Nevins argued that the newly inaugurated Lincoln made three miscalculations: underestimating the gravity of the crisis, exaggerating the strength of Unionist sentiment in the South, and not realizing the Southern Unionists were insisting there be no invasion

William Tecumseh Sherman talked to Lincoln during inauguration week and was "sadly disappointed" at his failure to realize that "the country was sleeping on a volcano" and that the South was preparing for war Historian Donald concludes that, "His repeated efforts to avoid collision in the months between inauguration and the firing on Ft Sumter showed he adhered to his vow not to be the first to shed fraternal blood But he also vowed not to surrender the forts The only resolution of these contradictory positions was for the confederates to fire the first shot; they did just that"

On April 15, Lincoln called on all the states to send detachments totaling 75,000 troops to recapture forts, protect Washington, and "preserve the Union", which, in his view, still existed intact despite the actions of the seceding states This call forced the states to choose sides Virginia declared its secession and was rewarded with the Confederate capital, despite the exposed position of Richmond so close to Union lines North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas also voted for secession over the next two months Secession sentiment was strong in Missouri and Maryland, but did not prevail; Kentucky tried to be neutral The Confederate attack on Fort Sumter rallied Americans north of the Mason-Dixon line to the defense of the American nation Historian Allan Nevins says:

The thunderclap of Sumter produced a startling crystallization of Northern sentiment  Anger swept the land From every side came news of mass meetings, speeches, resolutions, tenders of business support, the muster of companies and regiments, the determined action of governors and legislatures"

States sent Union regiments south in response to Lincoln's call to save the capital and confront the rebellion On April 19, mobs in Baltimore, which controlled the rail links, attacked Union troops who were changing trains, and local leaders' groups later burned critical rail bridges to the capital The Army responded by arresting local Maryland officials Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in areas the army felt it needed to secure for troops to reach Washington John Merryman, a Maryland official involved in hindering the US troop movements, petitioned Supreme Court Chief Justice and Marylander, Roger B Taney, author of the controversial pro-slavery Dred Scott opinion, to issue a writ of habeas corpus, and in June Taney, acting as a circuit judge and not speaking for the Supreme Court, issued the writ, because in his opinion only Congress could suspend the writ Lincoln continued the army policy that the writ was suspended in limited areas despite the Ex parte Merryman ruling

Assuming command for the Union in the war

After the Battle of Fort Sumter, Lincoln realized the importance of taking immediate executive control of the war and making an overall strategy to put down the rebellion Lincoln encountered an unprecedented political and military crisis, and he responded as commander-in-chief, using unprecedented powers He expanded his war powers, and imposed a blockade on all the Confederate shipping ports, disbursed funds before appropriation by Congress, and after suspending habeas corpus, arrested and imprisoned thousands of suspected Confederate sympathizers Lincoln was supported by Congress and the northern public for these actions In addition, Lincoln had to contend with reinforcing strong Union sympathies in the border slave states and keeping the war from becoming an international conflict

"Running the 'Machine' ": An 1864 political cartoon takes a swing at Lincoln's administration—featuring William Fessenden, Edwin Stanton, William Seward, Gideon Welles, Lincoln and others

The war effort was the source of continued disparagement of Lincoln, and dominated his time and attention From the start, it was clear that bipartisan support would be essential to success in the war effort, and any manner of compromise alienated factions on both sides of the aisle, such as the appointment of Republicans and Democrats to command positions in the Union Army Copperheads criticized Lincoln for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue Conversely, the Radical Republicans criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery On August 6, 1861, Lincoln signed the Confiscation Act that authorized judiciary proceedings to confiscate and free slaves who were used to support the Confederate war effort In practice, the law had little effect, but it did signal political support for abolishing slavery in the Confederacy

In late August 1861, General John C Frémont, the 1856 Republican presidential nominee, issued, without consulting his superiors in Washington, a proclamation of martial law in Missouri He declared that any citizen found bearing arms could be court-martialed and shot, and that slaves of persons aiding the rebellion would be freed Frémont was already under a cloud with charges of negligence in his command of the Department of the West compounded with allegations of fraud and corruption Lincoln overruled Frémont's proclamation Lincoln believed that Fremont's emancipation was political; neither militarily necessary nor legal After Lincoln acted, Union enlistments from Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri increased by over 40,000 troops

Lincoln left most diplomatic matters to his Secretary of State, William Seward At times Seward was too bellicose, so for balance Lincoln stuck a close working relationship with Senator Charles Sumner, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee The Trent Affair of late 1861 threatened war with Great Britain The US Navy had illegally intercepted a British mail ship, the Trent, on the high seas and seized two Confederate envoys; Britain protested vehemently while the US cheered Lincoln ended the crisis by releasing the two diplomats Biographer James G Randall has dissected Lincoln's successful techniques:

his restraint, his avoidance of any outward expression of truculence, his early softening of State Department's attitude toward Britain, his deference toward Seward and Sumner, his withholding of his own paper prepared for the occasion, his readiness to arbitrate, his golden silence in addressing Congress, his shrewdness in recognizing that war must be averted, and his clear perception that a point could be clinched for America's true position at the same time that full satisfaction was given to a friendly country

Lincoln painstakingly monitored the telegraphic reports coming into the War Department headquarters He kept close tabs on all phases of the military effort, consulted with governors, and selected generals based on their past success as well as their state and party In January 1862, after many complaints of inefficiency and profiteering in the War Department, Lincoln replaced Simon Cameron with Edwin Stanton as War Secretary Stanton was a staunchly Unionist pro-business conservative Democrat who moved toward the Radical Republican faction Nevertheless, he worked more often and more closely with Lincoln than any other senior official "Stanton and Lincoln virtually conducted the war together," say Thomas and Hyman

In terms of war strategy, Lincoln articulated two priorities: to ensure that Washington was well-defended, and to conduct an aggressive war effort that would satisfy the demand in the North for prompt, decisive victory; major Northern newspaper editors expected victory within 90 days Twice a week, Lincoln would meet with his cabinet in the afternoon, and occasionally Mary Lincoln would force him to take a carriage ride because she was concerned he was working too hard Lincoln learned from reading the theoretical book of his chief of staff General Henry Halleck, a disciple of the European strategist Jomini; he began to appreciate the critical need to control strategic points, such as the Mississippi River; Lincoln saw the importance of Vicksburg and understood the necessity of defeating the enemy's army, rather than simply capturing territory

General McClellan

After the Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run and the retirement of the aged Winfield Scott in late 1861, Lincoln appointed Major General George B McClellan general-in-chief of all the Union armies McClellan, a young West Point graduate, railroad executive, and Pennsylvania Democrat, took several months to plan and attempt his Peninsula Campaign, longer than Lincoln wanted The campaign's objective was to capture Richmond by moving the Army of the Potomac by boat to the peninsula and then overland to the Confederate capital McClellan's repeated delays frustrated Lincoln and Congress, as did his position that no troops were needed to defend Washington Lincoln insisted on holding some of McClellan's troops in defense of the capital; McClellan, who consistently overestimated the strength of Confederate troops, blamed this decision for the ultimate failure of the Peninsula Campaign

Lincoln and George McClellan after the Battle of Antietam in 1862

Lincoln removed McClellan as general-in-chief in March 1862, after McClellan's "Harrison's Landing Letter", in which he offered unsolicited political advice to Lincoln urging caution in the war effort The office remained empty until July, when Henry Halleck was selected for it McClellan's letter incensed Radical Republicans, who successfully pressured Lincoln to appoint John Pope, a Republican, as head of the new Army of Virginia Pope complied with Lincoln's strategic desire to move toward Richmond from the north, thus protecting the capital from attack

However, lacking requested reinforcements from McClellan, now commanding the Army of the Potomac, Pope was soundly defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run in the summer of 1862, forcing the Army of the Potomac to defend Washington for a second time The war also expanded with naval operations in 1862 when the CSS Virginia, formerly the USS Merrimack, damaged or destroyed three Union vessels in Norfolk, Virginia, before being engaged and damaged by the USS Monitor Lincoln closely reviewed the dispatches and interrogated naval officers during their clash in the Battle of Hampton Roads

Despite his dissatisfaction with McClellan's failure to reinforce Pope, Lincoln was desperate, and restored him to command of all forces around Washington, to the dismay of all in his cabinet but Seward Two days after McClellan's return to command, General Robert E Lee's forces crossed the Potomac River into Maryland, leading to the Battle of Antietam in September 1862 The ensuing Union victory was among the bloodiest in American history, but it enabled Lincoln to announce that he would issue an Emancipation Proclamation in January Having composed the Proclamation some time earlier, Lincoln had waited for a military victory to publish it to avoid it being perceived as the product of desperation

McClellan then resisted the President's demand that he pursue Lee's retreating and exposed army, while his counterpart General Don Carlos Buell likewise refused orders to move the Army of the Ohio against rebel forces in eastern Tennessee As a result, Lincoln replaced Buell with William Rosecrans; and, after the 1862 midterm elections, he replaced McClellan with Republican Ambrose Burnside Both of these replacements were political moderates and prospectively more supportive of the Commander-in-Chief

Union soldiers before Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, just prior to the battle of May 3, 1863

Burnside, against the advice of the president, prematurely launched an offensive across the Rappahannock River and was stunningly defeated by Lee at Fredericksburg in December Not only had Burnside been defeated on the battlefield, but his soldiers were disgruntled and undisciplined Desertions during 1863 were in the thousands and they increased after Fredericksburg Lincoln brought in Joseph Hooker, despite his record of loose talk about the need for a military dictatorship

The mid-term elections in 1862 brought the Republicans severe losses due to sharp disfavor with the administration over its failure to deliver a speedy end to the war, as well as rising inflation, new high taxes, rumors of corruption, the suspension of habeas corpus, the military draft law, and fears that freed slaves would undermine the labor market The Emancipation Proclamation announced in September gained votes for the Republicans in the rural areas of New England and the upper Midwest, but it lost votes in the cities and the lower Midwest

While Republicans were discouraged, Democrats were energized and did especially well in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and New York The Republicans did maintain their majorities in Congress and in the major states, except New York The Cincinnati Gazette contended that the voters were "depressed by the interminable nature of this war, as so far conducted, and by the rapid exhaustion of the national resources without progress"

In the spring of 1863, Lincoln was optimistic about upcoming military campaigns to the point of thinking the end of the war could be near if a string of victories could be put together; these plans included Hooker's attack on Lee north of Richmond, Rosecrans' on Chattanooga, Grant's on Vicksburg, and a naval assault on Charleston

Hooker was routed by Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, but continued to command his troops for some weeks He ignored Lincoln's order to divide his troops, and possibly force Lee to do the same in Harper's Ferry, and tendered his resignation, which Lincoln accepted He was replaced by George Meade, who followed Lee into Pennsylvania for the Gettysburg Campaign, which was a victory for the Union, though Lee's army avoided capture At the same time, after initial setbacks, Grant laid siege to Vicksburg and the Union navy attained some success in Charleston harbor After the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln clearly understood that his military decisions would be more effectively carried out by conveying his orders through his War Secretary or his general-in-chief on to his generals, who resented his civilian interference with their own plans Even so, he often continued to give detailed directions to his generals as Commander-in-Chief

Emancipation Proclamation

Main articles: Abraham Lincoln and slavery and Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln presents the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet Painted by Francis Bicknell Carpenter in 1864

Lincoln understood that the Federal government's power to end slavery was limited by the Constitution, which before 1865, committed the issue to individual states He argued before and during his election that the eventual extinction of slavery would result from preventing its expansion into new US territory At the beginning of the war, he also sought to persuade the states to accept compensated emancipation in return for their prohibition of slavery Lincoln believed that curtailing slavery in these ways would economically expunge it, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, under the constitution President Lincoln rejected two geographically limited emancipation attempts by Major General John C Frémont in August 1861 and by Major General David Hunter in May 1862, on the grounds that it was not within their power, and it would upset the border states loyal to the Union

On June 19, 1862, endorsed by Lincoln, Congress passed an act banning slavery on all federal territory In July, the Confiscation Act of 1862 was passed, which set up court procedures that could free the slaves of anyone convicted of aiding the rebellion Although Lincoln believed it was not within Congress's power to free the slaves within the states, he approved the bill in deference to the legislature He felt such action could only be taken by the Commander-in-Chief using war powers granted to the president by the Constitution, and Lincoln was planning to take that action In that month, Lincoln discussed a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation with his cabinet In it, he stated that "as a fit and necessary military measure, on January 1, 1863, all persons held as slaves in the Confederate states will thenceforward, and forever, be free"

Privately, Lincoln concluded at this point that the slave base of the Confederacy had to be eliminated However Copperheads argued that emancipation was a stumbling block to peace and reunification Republican editor Horace Greeley of the highly influential New York Tribune fell for the ploy, and Lincoln refuted it directly in a shrewd letter of August 22, 1862 Although he said he personally wished all men could be free, Lincoln stated that the primary goal of his actions as the US president he used the first person pronoun and explicitly refers to his "official duty" was that of preserving the Union:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union  I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on September 22, 1862, and put into effect on January 1, 1863, declared free the slaves in 10 states not then under Union control, with exemptions specified for areas already under Union control in two states Lincoln spent the next 100 days preparing the army and the nation for emancipation, while Democrats rallied their voters in the 1862 off-year elections by warning of the threat freed slaves posed to northern whites

Once the abolition of slavery in the rebel states became a military objective, as Union armies advanced south, more slaves were liberated until all three million of them in Confederate territory were freed Lincoln's comment on the signing of the Proclamation was: "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper" For some time, Lincoln continued earlier plans to set up colonies for the newly freed slaves He commented favorably on colonization in the Emancipation Proclamation, but all attempts at such a massive undertaking failed A few days after Emancipation was announced, 13 Republican governors met at the War Governors' Conference; they supported the president's Proclamation, but suggested the removal of General George B McClellan as commander of the Union Army

Enlisting former slaves in the military was official government policy after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation By the spring of 1863, Lincoln was ready to recruit black troops in more than token numbers In a letter to Andrew Johnson, the military governor of Tennessee, encouraging him to lead the way in raising black troops, Lincoln wrote, "The bare sight of 50,000 armed and drilled black soldiers on the banks of the Mississippi would end the rebellion at once" By the end of 1863, at Lincoln's direction, General Lorenzo Thomas had recruited 20 regiments of blacks from the Mississippi Valley Frederick Douglass once observed of Lincoln: "In his company, I was never reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color"

Gettysburg Address 1863

Main article: Gettysburg Address The only confirmed photo of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, some three hours before the speech

With the great Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, and the defeat of the Copperheads in the Ohio election in the fall, Lincoln maintained a strong base of party support and was in a strong position to redefine the war effort, despite the New York City draft riots The stage was set for his address at the Gettysburg battlefield cemetery on November 19, 1863 Defying Lincoln's prediction that "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here", the Address became the most quoted speech in American history

In 272 words, and three minutes, Lincoln asserted the nation was born not in 1789, but in 1776, "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" He defined the war as an effort dedicated to these principles of liberty and equality for all The emancipation of slaves was now part of the national war effort He declared that the deaths of so many brave soldiers would not be in vain, that slavery would end as a result of the losses, and the future of democracy in the world would be assured, that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth" Lincoln concluded that the Civil War had a profound objective: a new birth of freedom in the nation

General Grant

President Lincoln center right with, from left, Generals Sherman and Grant and Admiral Porter – 1868 painting of events aboard the River Queen in March 1865

Meade's failure to capture Lee's army as it retreated from Gettysburg, and the continued passivity of the Army of the Potomac, persuaded Lincoln that a change in command was needed General Ulysses S Grant's victories at the Battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign impressed Lincoln and made Grant a strong candidate to head the Union Army Responding to criticism of Grant after Shiloh, Lincoln had said, "I can't spare this man He fights" With Grant in command, Lincoln felt the Union Army could relentlessly pursue a series of coordinated offensives in multiple theaters, and have a top commander who agreed on the use of black troops

Nevertheless, Lincoln was concerned that Grant might be considering a candidacy for President in 1864, as McClellan was Lincoln arranged for an intermediary to make inquiry into Grant's political intentions, and being assured that he had none, submitted to the Senate Grant's promotion to commander of the Union Army He obtained Congress's consent to reinstate for Grant the rank of Lieutenant General, which no officer had held since George Washington

Grant waged his bloody Overland Campaign in 1864 This is often characterized as a war of attrition, given high Union losses at battles such as the Battle of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor Even though they had the advantage of fighting on the defensive, the Confederate forces had "almost as high a percentage of casualties as the Union forces" The high casualty figures of the Union alarmed the North; Grant had lost a third of his army, and Lincoln asked what Grant's plans were, to which the general replied, "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer"

The Confederacy lacked reinforcements, so Lee's army shrank with every costly battle Grant's army moved south, crossed the James River, forcing a siege and trench warfare outside Petersburg, Virginia Lincoln then made an extended visit to Grant's headquarters at City Point, Virginia This allowed the president to confer in person with Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman about the hostilities, as Sherman coincidentally managed a hasty visit to Grant from his position in North Carolina Lincoln and the Republican Party mobilized support for the draft throughout the North, and replaced the Union losses

Lincoln authorized Grant to target the Confederate infrastructure—such as plantations, railroads, and bridges—hoping to destroy the South's morale and weaken its economic ability to continue fighting Grant's move to Petersburg resulted in the obstruction of three railroads between Richmond and the South This strategy allowed Generals Sherman and Philip Sheridan to destroy plantations and towns in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley The damage caused by Sherman's March to the Sea through Georgia in 1864 was limited to a 60-mile 97 km swath, but neither Lincoln nor his commanders saw destruction as the main goal, but rather defeat of the Confederate armies Mark E Neely Jr has argued that there was no effort to engage in "total war" against civilians which he believed did take place during World War II

Confederate general Jubal Early began a series of assaults in the North that threatened the Capital During Early's raid on Washington, DC in 1864, Lincoln was watching the combat from an exposed position; Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes shouted at him, "Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!" After repeated calls on Grant to defend Washington, Sheridan was appointed and the threat from Early was dispatched

As Grant continued to wear down Lee's forces, efforts to discuss peace began Confederate Vice President Stephens led a group to meet with Lincoln, Seward, and others at Hampton Roads Lincoln refused to allow any negotiation with the Confederacy as a coequal; his sole objective was an agreement to end the fighting and the meetings produced no results On April 1, 1865, Grant successfully outflanked Lee's forces in the Battle of Five Forks and nearly encircled Petersburg, and the Confederate government evacuated Richmond Days later, when that city fell, Lincoln visited the vanquished Confederate capital; as he walked through the city, white Southerners were stone-faced, but freedmen greeted him as a hero On April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox and the war was effectively over

1864 re-election

File:LINCOLN, Abraham-President BEP engraved portraitjpg BEP engraved portrait of Lincoln as President Main articles: Electoral history of Abraham Lincoln and United States presidential election, 1864

While the war was still being waged, Lincoln faced reelection in 1864 Lincoln was a master politician, bringing together—and holding together—all the main factions of the Republican Party, and bringing in War Democrats such as Edwin M Stanton and Andrew Johnson as well Lincoln spent many hours a week talking to politicians from across the land and using his patronage powers—greatly expanded over peacetime—to hold the factions of his party together, build support for his own policies, and fend off efforts by Radicals to drop him from the 1864 ticket At its 1864 convention, the Republican Party selected Johnson, a War Democrat from the Southern state of Tennessee, as his running mate To broaden his coalition to include War Democrats as well as Republicans, Lincoln ran under the label of the new Union Party

When Grant's 1864 spring campaigns turned into bloody stalemates and Union casualties mounted, the lack of military success wore heavily on the President's re-election prospects, and many Republicans across the country feared that Lincoln would be defeated Sharing this fear, Lincoln wrote and signed a pledge that, if he should lose the election, he would still defeat the Confederacy before turning over the White House:

This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President elect, as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterward

Lincoln did not show the pledge to his cabinet, but asked them to sign the sealed envelope

An electoral landslide in red for Lincoln in the 1864 election, southern states brown and territories light brown not in play Lincoln's second inaugural address in 1865 at the almost completed Capitol building

While the Democratic platform followed the "Peace wing" of the party and called the war a "failure", their candidate, General George B McClellan, supported the war and repudiated the platform Lincoln provided Grant with more troops and mobilized his party to renew its support of Grant in the war effort Sherman's capture of Atlanta in September and David Farragut's capture of Mobile ended defeatist jitters; the Democratic Party was deeply split, with some leaders and most soldiers openly for Lincoln By contrast, the National Union Party was united and energized as Lincoln made emancipation the central issue, and state Republican parties stressed the perfidy of the Copperheads On November 8, Lincoln was re-elected in a landslide, carrying all but three states, and receiving 78 percent of the Union soldiers' vote

On March 4, 1865, Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address In it, he deemed the high casualties on both sides to be God's will Historian Mark Noll concludes it ranks "among the small handful of semi-sacred texts by which Americans conceive their place in the world" Lincoln said:

Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said, "the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether" With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations


Main article: Reconstruction Era

Reconstruction began during the war, as Lincoln and his associates anticipated questions of how to reintegrate the conquered southern states, and how to determine the fates of Confederate leaders and freed slaves Shortly after Lee's surrender, a general had asked Lincoln how the defeated Confederates should be treated, and Lincoln replied, "Let 'em up easy" In keeping with that sentiment, Lincoln led the moderates regarding Reconstruction policy, and was opposed by the Radical Republicans, under Rep Thaddeus Stevens, Sen Charles Sumner and Sen Benjamin Wade, political allies of the president on other issues Determined to find a course that would reunite the nation and not alienate the South, Lincoln urged that speedy elections under generous terms be held throughout the war His Amnesty Proclamation of December 8, 1863, offered pardons to those who had not held a Confederate civil office, had not mistreated Union prisoners, and would sign an oath of allegiance

A political cartoon of Vice President Andrew Johnson a former tailor and Lincoln, 1865, entitled "The 'Rail Splitter' At Work Repairing the Union" The caption reads Johnson: Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever Lincoln: A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended

As Southern states were subdued, critical decisions had to be made as to their leadership while their administrations were re-formed Of special importance were Tennessee and Arkansas, where Lincoln appointed Generals Andrew Johnson and Frederick Steele as military governors, respectively In Louisiana, Lincoln ordered General Nathaniel P Banks to promote a plan that would restore statehood when 10 percent of the voters agreed to it Lincoln's Democratic opponents seized on these appointments to accuse him of using the military to ensure his and the Republicans' political aspirations On the other hand, the Radicals denounced his policy as too lenient, and passed their own plan, the Wade-Davis Bill, in 1864 When Lincoln vetoed the bill, the Radicals retaliated by refusing to seat representatives elected from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee

Lincoln's appointments were designed to keep both the moderate and Radical factions in harness To fill Chief Justice Taney's seat on the Supreme Court, he named the choice of the Radicals, Salmon P Chase, who Lincoln believed would uphold the emancipation and paper money policies

After implementing the Emancipation Proclamation, which did not apply to every state, Lincoln increased pressure on Congress to outlaw slavery throughout the entire nation with a constitutional amendment Lincoln declared that such an amendment would "clinch the whole matter" By December 1863, a proposed constitutional amendment that would outlaw slavery was brought to Congress for passage This first attempt at an amendment failed to pass, falling short of the required two-thirds majority on June 15, 1864, in the House of Representatives Passage of the proposed amendment became part of the Republican/Unionist platform in the election of 1864 After a long debate in the House, a second attempt passed Congress on January 31, 1865, and was sent to the state legislatures for ratification Upon ratification, it became the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 6, 1865

As the war drew to a close, Lincoln's presidential Reconstruction for the South was in flux; having believed the federal government had limited responsibility to the millions of freedmen He signed into law Senator Charles Sumner's Freedmen's Bureau bill that set up a temporary federal agency designed to meet the immediate material needs of former slaves The law assigned land for a lease of three years with the ability to purchase title for the freedmen Lincoln stated that his Louisiana plan did not apply to all states under Reconstruction Shortly before his assassination, Lincoln announced he had a new plan for southern Reconstruction Discussions with his cabinet revealed Lincoln planned short-term military control over southern states, until readmission under the control of southern Unionists

Historians agree that it is impossible to predict exactly what Lincoln would have done about Reconstruction if he had lived, but they make projections based on his known policy positions and political acumen Lincoln biographers James G Randall and Richard Current, according to David Lincove, argue that:

It is likely that had he lived, Lincoln would have followed a policy similar to Johnson's, that he would have clashed with congressional Radicals, that he would have produced a better result for the freedmen than occurred, and that his political skills would have helped him avoid Johnson's mistakes

Eric Foner argues that:

Unlike Sumner and other Radicals, Lincoln did not see Reconstruction as an opportunity for a sweeping political and social revolution beyond emancipation He had long made clear his opposition to the confiscation and redistribution of land He believed, as most Republicans did in April 1865, that the voting requirements should be determined by the states He assumed that political control in the South would pass to white Unionists, reluctant secessionists, and forward-looking former Confederates But time and again during the war, Lincoln, after initial opposition, had come to embrace positions first advanced by abolitionists and Radical Republicans  Lincoln undoubtedly would have listened carefully to the outcry for further protection for the former slaves  It is entirely plausible to imagine Lincoln and Congress agreeing on a Reconstruction policy that encompassed federal protection for basic civil rights plus limited black suffrage, along the lines Lincoln proposed just before his death"

Redefining the republic and republicanism

Lincoln in February 1865, about two months before his death

The successful reunification of the states had consequences for the name of the country The term "the United States" has historically been used, sometimes in the plural "these United States", and other times in the singular, without any particular grammatical consistency The Civil War was a significant force in the eventual dominance of the singular usage by the end of the 19th century

In recent years, historians such as Harry Jaffa, Herman Belz, John Diggins, Vernon Burton and Eric Foner have stressed Lincoln's redefinition of republican values As early as the 1850s, a time when most political rhetoric focused on the sanctity of the Constitution, Lincoln redirected emphasis to the Declaration of Independence as the foundation of American political values—what he called the "sheet anchor" of republicanism The Declaration's emphasis on freedom and equality for all, in contrast to the Constitution's tolerance of slavery, shifted the debate As Diggins concludes regarding the highly influential Cooper Union speech of early 1860, "Lincoln presented Americans a theory of history that offers a profound contribution to the theory and destiny of republicanism itself" His position gained strength because he highlighted the moral basis of republicanism, rather than its legalisms Nevertheless, in 1861, Lincoln justified the war in terms of legalisms the Constitution was a contract, and for one party to get out of a contract all the other parties had to agree, and then in terms of the national duty to guarantee a republican form of government in every state Burton 2008 argues that Lincoln's republicanism was taken up by the Freedmen as they were emancipated

In March 1861, in Lincoln's first inaugural address, he explored the nature of democracy He denounced secession as anarchy, and explained that majority rule had to be balanced by constitutional restraints in the American system He said "A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people"

Other enactments

Lincoln adhered to the Whig theory of the presidency, which gave Congress primary responsibility for writing the laws while the Executive enforced them Lincoln vetoed only four bills passed by Congress; the only important one was the Wade-Davis Bill with its harsh program of Reconstruction He signed the Homestead Act in 1862, making millions of acres of government-held land in the West available for purchase at very low cost The Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, also signed in 1862, provided government grants for agricultural colleges in each state The Pacific Railway Acts of 1862 and 1864 granted federal support for the construction of the United States' First Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed in 1869 The passage of the Homestead Act and the Pacific Railway Acts was made possible by the absence of Southern congressmen and senators who had opposed the measures in the 1850s

The Lincoln Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Abraham Lincoln 1861–1865
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin 1861–1865
Andrew Johnson 1865
Secretary of State William H Seward 1861–1865
Secretary of Treasury Salmon P Chase 1861–1864
William P Fessenden 1864–1865
Hugh McCulloch 1865
Secretary of War Simon Cameron 1861–1862
Edwin M Stanton 1862–1865
Attorney General Edward Bates 1861–1864
James Speed 1864–1865
Postmaster General Montgomery Blair 1861–1864
William Dennison Jr 1864–1865
Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles 1861–1865
Secretary of the Interior Caleb Blood Smith 1861–1862
John Palmer Usher 1863–1865

Other important legislation involved two measures to raise revenues for the Federal government: tariffs a policy with long precedent, and a new Federal income tax In 1861, Lincoln signed the second and third Morrill Tariff, the first having become law under James Buchanan Also in 1861, Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861, creating the first US income tax This created a flat tax of 3 percent on incomes above $800 $21,100 in current dollar terms, which was later changed by the Revenue Act of 1862 to a progressive rate structure

Lincoln also presided over the expansion of the federal government's economic influence in several other areas The creation of the system of national banks by the National Banking Act provided a strong financial network in the country It also established a national currency In 1862, Congress created, with Lincoln's approval, the Department of Agriculture In 1862, Lincoln sent a senior general, John Pope, to put down the "Sioux Uprising" in Minnesota Presented with 303 execution warrants for convicted Santee Dakota who were accused of killing innocent farmers, Lincoln conducted his own personal review of each of these warrants, eventually approving 39 for execution one was later reprieved President Lincoln had planned to reform federal Indian policy

In the wake of Grant's casualties in his campaign against Lee, Lincoln had considered yet another executive call for a military draft, but it was never issued In response to rumors of one, however, the editors of the New York World and the Journal of Commerce published a false draft proclamation which created an opportunity for the editors and others employed at the publications to corner the gold market Lincoln's reaction was to send the strongest of messages to the media about such behavior; he ordered the military to seize the two papers The seizure lasted for two days

Lincoln is largely responsible for the institution of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States Before Lincoln's presidency, Thanksgiving, while a regional holiday in New England since the 17th century, had been proclaimed by the federal government only sporadically and on irregular dates The last such proclamation had been during James Madison's presidency 50 years before In 1863, Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November of that year to be a day of Thanksgiving In June 1864, Lincoln approved the Yosemite Grant enacted by Congress, which provided unprecedented federal protection for the area now known as Yosemite National Park

Judicial appointments

Main article: List of federal judges appointed by Abraham Lincoln

Supreme Court appointments

  • Noah Haynes Swayne – 1862
  • Samuel Freeman Miller – 1862
  • David Davis – 1862
  • Stephen Johnson Field – 1863
  • Salmon Portland Chase – 1864 Chief Justice
Salmon Portland Chase was Lincoln's choice to be Chief Justice of the United States

Lincoln's declared philosophy on court nominations was that "we cannot ask a man what he will do, and if we should, and he should answer us, we should despise him for it Therefore we must take a man whose opinions are known" Lincoln made five appointments to the United States Supreme Court Noah Haynes Swayne, nominated January 21, 1862 and appointed January 24, 1862, was chosen as an anti-slavery lawyer who was committed to the Union Samuel Freeman Miller, nominated and appointed on July 16, 1862, supported Lincoln in the 1860 election and was an avowed abolitionist David Davis, Lincoln's campaign manager in 1860, nominated December 1, 1862 and appointed December 8, 1862, had also served as a judge in Lincoln's Illinois court circuit Stephen Johnson Field, a previous California Supreme Court justice, was nominated March 6, 1863 and appointed March 10, 1863, and provided geographic balance, as well as political balance to the court as a Democrat Finally, Lincoln's Treasury Secretary, Salmon P Chase, was nominated as Chief Justice, and appointed the same day, on December 6, 1864 Lincoln believed Chase was an able jurist, would support Reconstruction legislation, and that his appointment united the Republican Party

Other judicial appointments

Lincoln appointed 32 federal judges, including four Associate Justices and one Chief Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States, and 27 judges to the United States district courts Lincoln appointed no judges to the United States circuit courts during his time in office

States admitted to the Union

West Virginia, admitted to the Union June 20, 1863, contained the former north-westernmost counties of Virginia that seceded from Virginia after that commonwealth declared its secession from the Union As a condition for its admission, West Virginia's constitution was required to provide for the gradual abolition of slavery Nevada, which became the third State in the far-west of the continent, was admitted as a free state on October 31, 1864

Assassination and funeral

Main articles: Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Funeral and burial of Abraham Lincoln Shown in the presidential booth of Ford's Theatre, from left to right, are assassin John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Harris, and Henry Rathbone

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford's Theatre as the American Civil War was drawing to a close The assassination occurred five days after the surrender of Robert E Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia Booth was a well-known actor and a Confederate spy from Maryland; though he never joined the Confederate army, he had contacts with the Confederate secret service In 1864, Booth formulated a plan very similar to one of Thomas N Conrad previously authorized by the Confederacy to kidnap Lincoln in exchange for the release of Confederate prisoners After attending an April 11, 1865, speech in which Lincoln promoted voting rights for blacks, an incensed Booth changed his plans and became determined to assassinate the president Learning that the President and Grant would be attending Ford's Theatre, Booth formulated a plan with co-conspirators to assassinate Lincoln and Grant at the theater, as well as Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State Seward at their homes Without his main bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln left to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14 At the last minute, Grant decided to go to New Jersey to visit his children instead of attending the play

Lincoln's bodyguard, John Parker, left Ford's Theater during intermission to drink at the saloon next door The now unguarded President sat in his state box in the balcony Seizing the opportunity, Booth crept up from behind and at about 10:13 pm, aimed at the back of Lincoln's head and fired at point-blank range, mortally wounding the President Major Henry Rathbone momentarily grappled with Booth, but Booth stabbed him and escaped

After being on the run for 12 days, Booth was tracked down and found on a farm in Virginia, some 70 miles 110 km south of Washington After refusing to surrender to Union troops, Booth was killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett on April 26

Doctor Charles Leale, an Army surgeon, found the President unresponsive, barely breathing and with no detectable pulse Having determined that the President had been shot in the head, and not stabbed in the shoulder as originally thought, he made an attempt to clear the blood clot, after which the President began to breathe more naturally The dying President was taken across the street to Petersen House After remaining in a coma for nine hours, Lincoln died at 7:22 am on April 15 Secretary of War Stanton saluted and said, "Now he belongs to the ages"

Lincoln's flag-enfolded body was then escorted in the rain to the White House by bareheaded Union officers, while the city's church bells rang President Johnson was sworn in at 10:00 am, less than 3 hours after Lincoln's death The late President lay in state in the East Room, and then in the Capitol Rotunda from April 19 through April 21 For his final journey with his son Willie, both caskets were transported in the executive coach "United States" and for three weeks the Lincoln Special funeral train decorated in black bunting bore Lincoln's remains on a slow circuitous waypoint journey from Washington DC to Springfield, Illinois, stopping at many cities across the North for large-scale memorials attended by hundreds of thousands, as well as many people who gathered in informal trackside tributes with bands, bonfires, and hymn singing or silent reverence with hat in hand as the railway procession slowly passed by Poet Walt Whitman composed When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd to eulogize Lincoln, one of four poems he wrote about the assassinated president Historians have emphasized the widespread shock and sorrow, but also noted that some Lincoln haters cheered when they heard the news African-Americans were especially moved; they had lost 'their Moses' In a larger sense, the outpouring of grief and anguish was in response to the deaths of so many men in the war that had just ended

Religious and philosophical beliefs

Further information: Abraham Lincoln and religion Lincoln, painting by George Peter Alexander Healy in 1869

As a young man, Lincoln was a religious skeptic, or, in the words of a biographer, an iconoclast Later in life, Lincoln's frequent use of religious imagery and language might have reflected his own personal beliefs or might have been a device to appeal to his audiences, who were mostly evangelical Protestants He never joined a church, although he frequently attended with his wife However, he was deeply familiar with the Bible, and he both quoted and praised it He was private about his beliefs and respected the beliefs of others Lincoln never made a clear profession of Christian beliefs However he did believe in an all-powerful God that shaped events and, by 1865, was expressing those beliefs in major speeches

In the 1840s, Lincoln subscribed to the Doctrine of Necessity, a belief that asserted the human mind was controlled by some higher power In the 1850s, Lincoln believed in "providence" in a general way, and rarely used the language or imagery of the evangelicals; he regarded the republicanism of the Founding Fathers with an almost religious reverence When he suffered the death of his son Edward, Lincoln more frequently expressed a need to depend on God The death of his son Willie in February 1862 may have caused Lincoln to look toward religion for answers and solace After Willie's death, Lincoln considered why, from a divine standpoint, the severity of the war was necessary He wrote at this time that God "could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest Yet the contest began And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day Yet the contest proceeds" On the day Lincoln was assassinated, he reportedly told his wife he desired to visit the Holy Land


Main article: Medical and mental health of Abraham Lincoln

Several claims abound that Lincoln's health was declining before the assassination These are often based on photographs appearing to show weight loss and muscle wasting One such claim is that he suffered from a rare genetic disorder, MEN2b, which manifests with a medullary thyroid carcinoma, mucosal neuromas and a Marfanoid appearance Others simply claim he had Marfan syndrome, based on his tall appearance with spindly fingers, and the association of possible aortic regurgitation, which can cause bobbing of the head DeMusset's sign — based on blurring of Lincoln's head in photographs, which back then had a long exposure time As of 2009, DNA analysis was being refused by the Grand Army of the Republic museum in Philadelphia

Historical reputation

See also: Abraham Lincoln cultural depictions Lincoln's image is carved into the stone of Mount Rushmore

In surveys of US scholars ranking presidents conducted since the 1940s, Lincoln is consistently ranked in the top three, often as number one A 2004 study found that scholars in the fields of history and politics ranked Lincoln number one, while legal scholars placed him second after Washington In presidential ranking polls conducted in the United States since 1948, Lincoln has been rated at the very top in the majority of polls: Schlesinger 1948, Schlesinger 1962, 1982 Murray Blessing Survey, Chicago Tribune 1982 poll, Schlesinger 1996, CSPAN 1996, Ridings-McIver 1996, Time 2008, and CSPAN 2009 Generally, the top three presidents are rated as 1 Lincoln; 2 George Washington; and 3 Franklin D Roosevelt, although Lincoln and Washington, and Washington and Roosevelt, are occasionally reversed

President Lincoln's assassination increased his status to the point of making him a national martyr Lincoln was viewed by abolitionists as a champion for human liberty Republicans linked Lincoln's name to their party Many, though not all, in the South considered Lincoln as a man of outstanding ability

Schwartz argues that Lincoln's reputation grew slowly in the late 19th century until the Progressive Era 1900–1920s when he emerged as one of the most venerated heroes in American history, with even white Southerners in agreement The high point came in 1922 with the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC In the New Deal era liberals honored Lincoln not so much as the self-made man or the great war president, but as the advocate of the common man who they believe would have supported the welfare state In the Cold War years, Lincoln's image shifted to emphasize the symbol of freedom who brought hope to those oppressed by communist regimes

By the 1970s Lincoln had become a hero to political conservatives for his intense nationalism, support for business, his insistence on stopping the spread of human bondage, his acting in terms of Lockean and Burkean principles on behalf of both liberty and tradition, and his devotion to the principles of the Founding Fathers As a Whig activist, Lincoln was a spokesman for business interests, favoring high tariffs, banks, internal improvements, and railroads in opposition to the agrarian Democrats William C Harris found that Lincoln's "reverence for the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the laws under it, and the preservation of the Republic and its institutions undergirded and strengthened his conservatism" James G Randall emphasizes his tolerance and especially his moderation "in his preference for orderly progress, his distrust of dangerous agitation, and his reluctance toward ill digested schemes of reform" Randall concludes that, "he was conservative in his complete avoidance of that type of so-called 'radicalism' which involved abuse of the South, hatred for the slaveholder, thirst for vengeance, partisan plotting, and ungenerous demands that Southern institutions be transformed overnight by outsiders"

By the late 1960s, liberals, such as historian Lerone Bennett, were having second thoughts, especially regarding Lincoln's views on racial issues Bennett won wide attention when he called Lincoln a white supremacist in 1968 He noted that Lincoln used ethnic slurs, told jokes that ridiculed blacks, insisted he opposed social equality, and proposed sending freed slaves to another country Defenders, such as authors Dirck and Cashin, retorted that he was not as bad as most politicians of his day; and that he was a "moral visionary" who deftly advanced the abolitionist cause, as fast as politically possible The emphasis shifted away from Lincoln-the-emancipator to an argument that blacks had freed themselves from slavery, or at least were responsible for pressuring the government on emancipation Historian Barry Schwartz wrote in 2009 that Lincoln's image suffered "erosion, fading prestige, benign ridicule" in the late 20th century On the other hand, Donald opined in his 1996 biography that Lincoln was distinctly endowed with the personality trait of negative capability, defined by the poet John Keats and attributed to extraordinary leaders who were "content in the midst of uncertainties and doubts, and not compelled toward fact or reason" In the 21st century, President Barack Obama named Lincoln his favorite president and insisted on using Lincoln's Bible for his swearing in of office at both his inaugurations

Lincoln has often been portrayed by Hollywood, almost always in a flattering light

Memory and memorials

Main articles: Memorials to Abraham Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln cultural depictions Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Lincoln's portrait appears on two denominations of United States currency, the penny and the $5 bill His likeness also appears on many postage stamps and he has been memorialized in many town, city, and county names, including the capital of Nebraska

The most famous and most visited memorials are Lincoln's sculpture on Mount Rushmore; Lincoln Memorial, Ford's Theatre, and Petersen House where he died in Washington, DC; and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, not far from Lincoln's home, as well as his tomb

There was also the Great Moments with Mr Lincoln exhibit in Disneyland, and the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World, which had to do with Walt Disney admiring Lincoln ever since he was a little boy

Barry Schwartz, a sociologist who has examined America's cultural memory, argues that in the 1930s and 1940s, the memory of Abraham Lincoln was practically sacred and provided the nation with "a moral symbol inspiring and guiding American life" During the Great Depression, he argues, Lincoln served "as a means for seeing the world's disappointments, for making its sufferings not so much explicable as meaningful" Franklin D Roosevelt, preparing America for war, used the words of the Civil War president to clarify the threat posed by Germany and Japan Americans asked, "What would Lincoln do" However, Schwartz also finds that since World War II, Lincoln's symbolic power has lost relevance, and this "fading hero is symptomatic of fading confidence in national greatness" He suggested that postmodernism and multiculturalism have diluted greatness as a concept

The United States Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72 is named after Lincoln, the second Navy ship to bear his name

See also

  • List of Presidents of the United States
  • List of Presidents of the United States, sortable by previous experience
  • Blab school
  • Dakota War of 1862
  • Lincoln Tower
  • List of photographs of Abraham Lincoln
  • List of civil rights leaders
  • American Civil War portal


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  189. ^ Oates, p 226
  190. ^ Allan Nevins, The War for the Union: The Improvised War 1861–1862 1959 pp 74–75
  191. ^ Russell McClintock 2008 Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press pp 254–274 ISBN 9780807831885 Provides details of support across the North
  192. ^ Heidler 2000, p 174
  193. ^ William C Harris, Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union University Press of Kansas, 2011 pp 59–71
  194. ^ Neely, Mark E 1992 The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties pp 3–31 
  195. ^ Donald 1996, pp 303–304; Carwardine 2003, pp 163–164
  196. ^ Donald 1996, pp 315, 331–333, 338–339, 417
  197. ^ Donald 1996, p 314; Carwardine 2003, p 178
  198. ^ Donald 1996, pp 314–317
  199. ^ Carwardine 2003, p 181
  200. ^ Donald 1996, p 322
  201. ^ James Garfield Randall 1946 Lincoln the President: Springfield to Gettysburg p 50 Retrieved 2016-05-16  quoted in Kevin Peraino, Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power 2013 pp 160-61
  202. ^ Benjamin P Thomas and Harold M Hyman, Stanton, the Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War 1962 pp 71, 87, 229–30, 385 quote
  203. ^ Donald 1996, pp 295–296
  204. ^ Donald 1996, pp 391–392
  205. ^ Ambrose, pp 7, 66, 159
  206. ^ Donald 1996, pp 432–436
  207. ^ Donald 1996, pp 318–319
  208. ^ Donald 1996, pp 349–352
  209. ^ Donald 1996, pp 360–361
  210. ^ Henry W Halleck Civil War Trust Retrieved March 28, 2016
  211. ^ a b Nevins 1960, pp 2:159–162
  212. ^ Donald 1996, pp 339–340
  213. ^ Goodwin, pp 478–479
  214. ^ Goodwin, pp 478–480
  215. ^ Goodwin, p 481
  216. ^ Donald 1996, pp 389–390
  217. ^ Donald 1996, pp 429–431
  218. ^ Nevins 6:433–44
  219. ^ a b Nevins vol 6 pp 318–322, quote on p 322
  220. ^ Donald 1996, pp 422–423
  221. ^ Nevins 6:432–450
  222. ^ Donald 1996, pp 444–447
  223. ^ Donald 1996, p 446
  224. ^ Mackubin, Thomas Owens March 25, 2004 "The Liberator" National Review National Review Archived from the original on October 20, 2011 Retrieved 2008-12-12 
  225. ^ Guelzo 1999, pp 290–291
  226. ^ Donald 1996, pp 364–365
  227. ^ McPherson 1992, p 124
  228. ^ Guelzo 2004, pp 147–153
  229. ^ Basler 1953, p 388
  230. ^ Donald 1996, pp 364, 379
  231. ^ Louis P Masur, Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union Harvard University Press; 2012
  232. ^ Donald 1996, p 407
  233. ^ Donald 1996, p 408
  234. ^ Nevins 1960, pp 2:239–240
  235. ^ Donald 1996, pp 430–431
  236. ^ Donald 1996, p 431
  237. ^ Douglass, pp 259–260
  238. ^ Donald 1996, pp 453–460
  239. ^ Bulla 2010, p 222
  240. ^ Donald 1996, pp 460–466
  241. ^ Wills, pp 20, 27, 105, 146
  242. ^ Thomas 2008, p 315
  243. ^ Nevins, Ordeal of the Union Vol IV, pp 6–17
  244. ^ Donald 1996, pp 490–492
  245. ^ McPherson 2009, p 113
  246. ^ Donald 1996, p 501
  247. ^ "The Peacemakers" The White House Historical Association Archived from the original on October 20, 2011 Retrieved 2009-05-03 
  248. ^ Thomas 2008, pp 422–424
  249. ^ Neely 2004, pp 434–458
  250. ^ Thomas 2008, p 434
  251. ^ Donald 1996, pp 516–518
  252. ^ Donald 1996, p 565
  253. ^ Donald 1996, p 589
  254. ^ Fish, pp 53–69
  255. ^ Tegeder, pp 77–90
  256. ^ Donald 1996, pp 494–507
  257. ^ a b Grimsley, p 80
  258. ^ Basler 1953, p 514
  259. ^ Donald 1996, p 531
  260. ^ Randall & Current 1955, p 307
  261. ^ Paludan, pp 274–293
  262. ^ Noll, p 426
  263. ^ Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings Library of America edition, 2009 p 450
  264. ^ Thomas 2008, pp 509–512
  265. ^ Donald 1996, pp 471–472
  266. ^ Donald 1996, pp 485–486
  267. ^ Nevins, Ordeal of the Union, Vol IV, p 206
  268. ^ Donald 1996, p 561
  269. ^ Donald 1996, pp 562–563
  270. ^ "House passes the 13th Amendment — Historycom This Day in History — 1/31/1865" Historycom Archived from the original on November 10, 2012 Retrieved November 19, 2012 
  271. ^ "Primary Documents in American History: 13th Amendment to the US Constitution" Library of Congress Archived from the original on October 20, 2011 Retrieved 2011-10-20 
  272. ^ Carwardine 2003, pp 242–243
  273. ^ Lincove, David A 2000 Reconstruction in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography Greenwood p 80 Retrieved 2015-06-27 
  274. ^ Foner, Eric 2010 The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery W W Norton pp 334–36 Retrieved 2015-06-27 
  275. ^ "Presidential Proclamation-Civil War Sesquicentennial" The White House April 12, 2011 Archived from the original on October 20, 2011 Retrieved 2011-04-26  a new meaning was conferred on our country's name  
  276. ^ Jaffa, p 399
  277. ^ Diggins, p 307
  278. ^ Foner 2010, p 215
  279. ^ Jaffa, p 263
  280. ^ Orville Vernon Burton, The Age of Lincoln 2008 p 243
  281. ^ Belz 1998, p 86
  282. ^ Donald 2001, p 137
  283. ^ Paludan, p 116
  284. ^ McPherson 1993, pp 450–452
  285. ^ Summers, Robert "Abraham Lincoln" Internet Public Library 2 IPL2 U Michigan and Drexel U Archived from the original on October 22, 2011 Retrieved 2012-12-09 
  286. ^ Donald 1996, p 424
  287. ^ Paludan, p 111
  288. ^ Donald 2001, p 424
  289. ^ Cox, p 182
  290. ^ Nichols, pp 210–232
  291. ^ Donald 1996, pp 501–502
  292. ^ a b c Donald 1996, p 471
  293. ^ Schaffer, Jeffrey P 1999 Yosemite National Park: A Natural History Guide to Yosemite and Its Trails Berkeley: Wilderness Press p 48 ISBN 0-89997-244-6 
  294. ^ Blue, p 245
  295. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges" Federal Judicial Center Archived from the original on July 30, 2016 Retrieved 11 August 2016 
  296. ^ "Federal judges nominated by Abraham Lincoln" BallotPedia Archived from the original on September 9, 2015 Retrieved 11 August 2016 
  297. ^ Donald 1996, pp 300, 539
  298. ^ Donald 1996, pp 586–587
  299. ^ Donald 1996, p 587
  300. ^ Harrison 2000, pp 3–4
  301. ^ Donald 1996, pp 594–597
  302. ^ Donald 1996, p 597
  303. ^ Martin, Paul April 8, 2010 "Lincoln's Missing Bodyguard" Smithsonian Magazine Archived from the original on October 20, 2011 Retrieved 2010-10-15 
  304. ^ Steers, p 153
  305. ^ Donald 1996, p 599
  306. ^ "Report of first doctor to reach shot Lincoln found" Archived from the original on June 6, 2012 Retrieved 2012-06-06 
  307. ^ Donald 1996, pp 598–599, 686 Witnesses have provided other versions of the quote, ie "He now belongs to the ages" and "He is a man for the ages"
  308. ^ Scott D Trostel "The Lincoln Funeral Train" Archived from the original on July 12, 2013 Retrieved November 20, 2012 
  309. ^ Trostel, pp 31–58
  310. ^ Goodrich, pp 231–238
  311. ^ Peck, Garrett 2015 Walt Whitman in Washington, DC: The Civil War and America's Great Poet Charleston, SC: The History Press pp 118–23 ISBN 978-1-62619-973-6 
  312. ^ Martha Hodes 2015 Mourning Lincoln Yale UP pp 84, 86, 96–97 Retrieved 2015-06-27 
  313. ^ Hodes 2015 Mourning Lincoln pp 197–199 Retrieved 2015-06-27 
  314. ^ Douglas L Wilson 1999 Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln Random House Digital, Inc p 84 ISBN 978-0-307-76581-9 Retrieved 2015-06-27 
  315. ^ Carwardine 2003, p 4
  316. ^ Carwardine 1997, pp 27–55
  317. ^ On claims that Lincoln was baptized by an associate of Alexander Campbell, see Martin, Jim 1996 "The secret baptism of Abraham Lincoln" Restoration Quarterly 38 2 Retrieved 2012-05-27 
  318. ^ Donald 1996, pp 48–49, 514–515
  319. ^ Mark A Noll 1992 A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada Wm B Eerdmans pp 321–22 Retrieved 2015-06-27 
  320. ^ Donald 1996, pp 48–49
  321. ^ Grant R Brodrecht, "Our country": Northern evangelicals and the Union during the Civil War and Reconstruction 2008 p 40
  322. ^ Parrillo, pp 227–253
  323. ^ Wilson, pp 251–254
  324. ^ Wilson, p 254
  325. ^ Guelzo 1999, p 434
  326. ^ a b "Was Lincoln Dying Before He Was Shot" The Atlantic May 20, 2009 Archived from the original on April 13, 2014 Retrieved October 8, 2014 
  327. ^ Taranto, p 264
  328. ^ Densen, John V, Editor, Reassessing The Presidency, The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2001, pgs 1–32; Ridings, William H, & Stuard B McIver, Rating The Presidents, A Ranking of US Leaders, From the Great and Honorable to the Dishonest and Incompetent Citadel Press, Kensington Publishing Corp, 2000
  329. ^ Chesebrough, pp 76, 79, 106, 110
  330. ^ Schwartz 2000, p 109
  331. ^ Schwartz 2009, pp 23, 91–98
  332. ^ Havers, p 96 Apart from neo-Confederates such as Mel Bradford who denounced his treatment of the white South
  333. ^ Belz 2006, pp 514–518
  334. ^ Graebner, pp 67–94
  335. ^ Smith, pp 43–45
  336. ^ Boritt 1994, pp 196, 198, 228, 301
  337. ^ Harris, p 2
  338. ^ Randall 1947, p 175
  339. ^ Zilversmit, pp 22–24
  340. ^ Smith, p 42
  341. ^ Bennett, pp 35–42
  342. ^ Dirck 2008, p 31
  343. ^ Striner, pp 2–4
  344. ^ Cashin, p 61
  345. ^ Kelley & Lewis, p 228
  346. ^ Schwartz 2009, p 146
  347. ^ Donald 1996, p 15
  348. ^ http://wwwcbsnewscom/news/the-obama-lincoln-parallel-a-closer-look/
  349. ^ David Jackson January 10, 2013 "Obama to be sworn in with Lincoln, King Bibles" USA TODAY Archived from the original on March 24, 2015 Retrieved 2016-03-02 
  350. ^ Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Tony Kushner, "Mr Lincoln Goes to Hollywood", Smithsonian 2012 43#7 pp 46–53
  351. ^ Melvyn Stokes, "Abraham Lincoln and the Movies", American Nineteenth Century History 12 June 2011, 203–31
  352. ^ Dennis, p 194
  353. ^ "Nebraskagov" nebraskagov Retrieved 2015-03-05 
  354. ^ "Mount Rushmore National Memorial" US National Park Service Archived from the original on October 23, 2011 Retrieved 2010-11-13 
  355. ^ "The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum" Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Archived from the original on October 25, 2011 Retrieved 2009-09-23 
  356. ^ "About Ford's" Ford's Theatre Archived from the original on October 25, 2011 Retrieved 2009-09-23 
  357. ^ Barry Schwartz, Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America 2009 pp xi, 9, 24
  358. ^ Barry Schwartz, Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America 2009 p xi, 9


Main article: Bibliography of Abraham Lincoln

Cited in footnotes

  • Adams, Charles F April 1912 "The Trent Affair" The American Historical Review The University of Chicago Press 17 3: 540–562 doi:102307/1834388 JSTOR 1834388 
  • Ambrose, Stephen E 1962 Halleck: Lincoln's Chief of Staff Louisiana State University Press OCLC 1178496 
  • Baker, Jean H 1989 Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography W W Norton & Company ISBN 978-0-393-30586-9 
  • Bartelt, William E 2008 There I Grew Up: Remembering Abraham Lincoln's Indiana Youth Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press p 79 ISBN 978-0-87195-263-9 
  • Basler, Roy Prentice, ed 1946 Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings World Publishing OCLC 518824 
  • Basler, Roy P, ed 1953 The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln 5 Rutgers University Press 
  • Belz, Herman 1998 Abraham Lincoln, Constitutionalism, and Equal Rights in the Civil War Era Fordham University Press ISBN 978-0-8232-1769-4 
  • Belz, Herman 2006 "Lincoln, Abraham" In Frohnen, Bruce; Beer, Jeremy; Nelson, Jeffrey O American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia ISI Books ISBN 978-1-932236-43-9 
  • Bennett Jr, Lerone February 1968 "Was Abe Lincoln a White Supremacist" Ebony Johnson Publishing 23 4 ISSN 0012-9011 
  • Blue, Frederick J 1987 Salmon P Chase: a life in politics The Kent State University Press ISBN 0-87338-340-0 
  • Boritt, Gabor 1994 Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-06445-3 
  • Bulla, David W; Gregory A Borchard 2010 Journalism in the Civil War Era Peter Lang Publishing Inc ISBN 1-4331-0722-8 
  • Burlingame, Michael 2008 Abraham Lincoln: A Life I Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 978-0-8018-8993-6 
  • Carwardine, Richard J Winter 1997 "Lincoln, Evangelical Religion, and American Political Culture in the Era of the Civil War" Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association Abraham Lincoln Association 18 1: 27–55 
  • Carwardine, Richard 2003 Lincoln Pearson Education Ltd ISBN 978-0-582-03279-8 
  • Cashin, Joan E 2002 The War Was You and Me: Civilians in The American Civil War Princeton University Press ISBN 978-0-691-09173-0 
  • Chesebrough, David B 1994 No Sorrow Like Our Sorrow Kent State University Press ISBN 978-0-87338-491-9 
  • Cox, Hank H 2005 Lincoln And The Sioux Uprising of 1862 Cumberland House Publisher ISBN 978-1-58182-457-5 
  • Cummings, William W; James B Hatcher 1982 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps Scott Publishing Company ISBN 0-89487-042-4 
  • Dennis, Matthew 2002 Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: an American Calendar Cornell University Press ISBN 978-0-8014-7268-8 
  • Diggins, John P 1986 The Lost Soul of American Politics: Virtue, Self-Interest, and the Foundations of Liberalism University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-14877-7 
  • Dirck, Brian R 2007 Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race Northern Illinois University Press ISBN 978-0-87580-359-3 
  • Dirck, Brian 2008 Lincoln the Lawyer University of Illinois Press ISBN 978-0-252-07614-5 
  • Donald, David Herbert 1948 Lincoln's Herndon A A Knopf OCLC 186314258 
  • Donald, David Herbert 1996 Lincoln Simon and Schuster ISBN 978-0-684-82535-9 
  • Donald, David Herbert 2001 Lincoln Reconsidered Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group ISBN 978-0-375-72532-6 
  • Douglass, Frederick 2008 The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass Cosimo Classics ISBN 1-60520-399-8 
  • Edgar, Walter B 1998 South Carolina: A History University of South Carolina Press ISBN 978-1-57003-255-4 
  • Fish, Carl Russell October 1902 "Lincoln and the Patronage" American Historical Review American Historical Association 8 1: 53–69 doi:102307/1832574 JSTOR 1832574 
  • Foner, Eric 1995 Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-509497-8 
  • Foner, Eric 2010 The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery WW Norton ISBN 978-0-393-06618-0 
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns 2005 Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-684-82490-6 
  • Goodrich, Thomas 2005 The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, and the Great American Tragedy Indiana University Press ISBN 978-0-253-34567-7 
  • Graebner, Norman 1959 "Abraham Lincoln: Conservative Statesman" The Enduring Lincoln: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Lectures at the University of Illinois University of Illinois Press OCLC 428674 
  • Grimsley, Mark 2001 The Collapse of the Confederacy University of Nebraska Press ISBN 0-8032-2170-3 
  • Guelzo, Allen C 1999 Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President WB Eerdmans Publishing ISBN 0-8028-3872-3 
  • Guelzo, Allen C 2004 Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America Simon & Schuster ISBN 978-0-7432-2182-5 
  • Handy, James S 1917 Book Review: Abraham Lincoln, the Lawyer-Statesman Northwestern University Law Publication Association 
  • Harrison, J Houston 1935 Settlers by the Long Grey Trail JK Reubush OCLC 3512772 
  • Harrison, Lowell Hayes 2000 Lincoln of Kentucky University Press of Kentucky ISBN 0-8131-2156-6 
  • Harris, William C 2007 Lincoln's Rise to the Presidency University Press of Kansas ISBN 978-0-7006-1520-9 
  • Havers, Grant N 2009 Lincoln and the Politics of Christian Love University of Missouri Press ISBN 0-8262-1857-1 
  • Heidler, David S; Jeanne T Heidler, eds 2000 Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History W W Norton & Company, Inc ISBN 978-0-393-04758-5  CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter link
  • Heidler, David Stephen 2006 The Mexican War Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 978-0-313-32792-6 
  • Hofstadter, Richard October 1938 "The Tariff Issue on the Eve of the Civil War" American Historical Review American Historical Association 44 1: 50–55 doi:102307/1840850 JSTOR 1840850 
  • Holzer, Harold 2004 Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President Simon & Schuster ISBN 978-0-7432-9964-0 
  • Jaffa, Harry V 2000 A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War Rowman & Littlefield ISBN 0-8476-9952-8 
  • Kelley, Robin D G; Lewis, Earl 2005 To Make Our World Anew: Volume I: A History of African Americans to 1880 Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-804006-4 
  • Lamb, Brian; Susan Swain, eds 2008 Abraham Lincoln: Great American Historians on Our Sixteenth President PublicAffairs ISBN 978-1-58648-676-1  CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter link
  • Lupton, John A September–October 2006 "Abraham Lincoln and the Corwin Amendment" Illinois Heritage The Illinois State Historical Society 9 5: 34 
  • Luthin, Reinhard H July 1994 "Abraham Lincoln and the Tariff" American Historical Review 49 4: 609–629 doi:102307/1850218 JSTOR 1850218 
  • McClintock, Russell 2008 Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession The University of North Carolina Press ISBN 9780807831885 Online preview
  • Madison, James H 2014 Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press and Indiana Historical Society Press p 110 ISBN 978-0-253-01308-8 
  • Mansch, Larry D 2005 Abraham Lincoln, President-Elect: The Four Critical Months from Election to Inauguration McFarland ISBN 0-7864-2026-X 
  • McGovern, George S 2008 Abraham Lincoln Macmillan ISBN 978-0-8050-8345-3 
  • McKirdy, Charles Robert 2011 Lincoln Apostate: The Matson Slave Case Univ Press of Mississippi ISBN 978-1-60473-987-9 
  • McPherson, James M 1992 Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-507606-6 
  • McPherson, James M 1993 Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-516895-2 
  • McPherson, James M 2009 Abraham Lincoln Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-537452-0 
  • Miller, William Lee 2002 Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography Vintage Books ed New York: Random House/Vintage Books ISBN 0-375-40158-X 
  • Neely, Mark E 1992 The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties Oxford University Press pp 3–31 
  • Neely Jr, Mark E December 2004 "Was the Civil War a Total War" Civil War History 50 4: 434–458 doi:101353/cwh20040073 
  • Nevins, Allan 1947–71 Ordeal of the Union; 8 vol Scribner's ISBN 978-0-684-10416-4 
    • Nevins, Allan 1950 The Emergence of Lincoln: Prologue to Civil War, 1857–1861 2 vol Scribner's ISBN 978-0-684-10416-4 , also published as vol 3–4 of Ordeal of the Union
    • Nevins, Allan 1960–1971 The War for the Union; 4 vol 1861–1865 Scribner's ISBN 978-1-56852-297-5 ; also published as vol 5–8 of Ordeal of the Union
  • Nichols, David A 2010 Richard W Etulain, ed Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific Southern Illinois University ISBN 0-8093-2961-1 
  • Noll, Mark 2000 America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-515111-9 
  • Oates, Stephen B 1993 With Malice Toward None: a Life of Abraham Lincoln HarperCollins ISBN 978-0-06-092471-3 
  • Paludan, Phillip Shaw 1994 The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln University Press of Kansas ISBN 978-0-7006-0671-9 
  • Parrillo, Nicholas September 2000 "Lincoln's Calvinist Transformation: Emancipation and War" Civil War History Kent State University Press 46 3: 227–253 doi:101353/cwh20000073 
  • Peterson, Merrill D 1995 Lincoln in American Memory Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-509645-3 
  • Potter, David M; Don Edward Fehrenbacher 1976 The impending crisis, 1848–1861 HarperCollins ISBN 978-0-06-131929-7 
  • Prokopowicz, Gerald J 2008 Did Lincoln Own Slaves Vintage Books ISBN 978-0-307-27929-3 
  • Randall, James G 1947 Lincoln, the Liberal Statesman Dodd, Mead OCLC 748479 
  • Randall, JG; Current, Richard Nelson 1955 Last Full Measure Lincoln the President IV Dodd, Mead OCLC 5852442 
  • Sandburg, Carl 1926 Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years Harcourt, Brace & Company OCLC 6579822 
  • Sandburg, Carl 2002 Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN 0-15-602752-6 
  • Schwartz, Barry 2000 Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory University of Chicago Press ISBN 978-0-226-74197-0 
  • Schwartz, Barry 2009 Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America University of Chicago Press ISBN 978-0-226-74188-8 
  • Scott, Kenneth September 1948 "Press Opposition to Lincoln in New Hampshire" The New England Quarterly The New England Quarterly, Inc 21 3: 326–341 doi:102307/361094 JSTOR 361094 
  • Sherman, William T 1990 Memoirs of General WT Sherman BiblioBazaar ISBN 1-174-63172-4 
  • Simon, Paul 1990 Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness: The Illinois Legislative Years University of Illinois ISBN 0-252-00203-2 
  • Smith, Robert C 2010 Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same State University of New York Press ISBN 978-1-4384-3233-5 
  • Steers, Edward 2010 The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia Harper Collins ISBN 0-06-178775-2 
  • Striner, Richard 2006 Father Abraham: Lincoln's Relentless Struggle to End Slavery Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-518306-1 
  • Tagg, Larry 2009 The Unpopular Mr Lincoln:The Story of America's Most Reviled President Savas Beatie ISBN 978-1-932714-61-6 
  • Taranto, James; Leonard Leo 2004 Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House Simon and Schuster ISBN 978-0-7432-5433-5 
  • Tegeder, Vincent G June 1948 "Lincoln and the Territorial Patronage: The Ascendancy of the Radicals in the West" Mississippi Valley Historical Review Organization of American Historians 35 1: 77–90 doi:102307/1895140 JSTOR 1895140 
  • Thomas, Benjamin P 2008 Abraham Lincoln: A Biography Southern Illinois University ISBN 978-0-8093-2887-1 
  • Trostel, Scott D 2002 The Lincoln Funeral Train: The Final Journey and National Funeral for Abraham Lincoln Cam-Tech Publishing ISBN 978-0-925436-21-4 
  • Vorenberg, Michael 2001 Final Freedom: the Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0-521-65267-4 
  • Warren, Louis A 1991 Lincoln's Youth: Indiana Years, Seven to Twenty-One, 1816–1830 Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society ISBN 0-87195-063-4 
  • White Jr, Ronald C 2009 A Lincoln: A Biography Random House, Inc ISBN 978-1-4000-6499-1 
  • Wills, Garry 1993 Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-671-86742-3 
  • Wilson, Douglas L 1999 Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln Knopf Publishing Group ISBN 978-0-375-70396-6 
  • Winkle, Kenneth J 2001 The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln Taylor Trade Publications ISBN 978-0-87833-255-7 
  • Zarefsky, David S 1993 Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate University of Chicago Press ISBN 978-0-226-97876-5 
  • Zilversmit, Arthur 1980 "Lincoln and the Problem of Race: A Decade of Interpretations" Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association Abraham Lincoln Association 2 11: 22–24 


  • Burkhimer, Michael 2003 One Hundred Essential Lincoln Books Cumberland House ISBN 978-1-58182-369-1 
  • Foner, Eric 2008 Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World WW Norton ISBN 978-0-393-06756-9 
  • Holzer, Harold and Craig L Symonds, eds Exploring Lincoln: Great Historians Reappraise Our Greatest President 2015, essays by 16 scholars
  • Manning, Chandra, "The Shifting Terrain of Attitudes toward Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation", Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 34 Winter 2013, 18–39
  • Smith, Adam IP "The 'Cult' of Abraham Lincoln and the Strange Survival of Liberal England in the Era of the World Wars", Twentieth Century British History, Dec 2010 21#4 pp 486–509
  • Spielberg, Steven; Goodwin, Doris Kearns; Kushner, Tony "Mr Lincoln Goes to Hollywood", Smithsonian 2012 43#7 pp 46–53

Additional references

  • Burlingame, Michael 2008 Abraham Lincoln: A Life 2 volumes Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 978-0-8018-8993-6 
  • Cox, LaWanda 1981 Lincoln and Black Freedom: A Study in Presidential Leadership University of South Carolina Press ISBN 978-0-87249-400-8 
  • Green, Michael S Lincoln and the Election of 1860 Concise Lincoln Library excerpt and text search
  • Holzer, Harold 2008 Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860–1861 Simon and Schuster ISBN 978-0-7432-8947-4 
  • McPherson, James M 2008 Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief Penguin Press ISBN 978-1-59420-191-2 
  • Miller, Richard Lawrence 2011 Lincoln and His World: The Rise to National Prominence, 1843–1853 McFarland ISBN 978-0-7864-5928-5 , vol 3 of detailed biography
  • Neely, Mark E 1984 The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia Da Capo Press ISBN 978-0-306-80209-6 
  • Neely, Mark E 1994 The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-51125-5 
  • Peraino, Kevin Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power 2013
  • Randall, James G 1945–1955 Lincoln the President 4 volumes Dodd, Mead OCLC 4183070 
  • White, Ronald C A Lincoln: A Biography 2006

External links


  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  • White House biography


  • Abraham Lincoln Association
  • Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation

Media coverage

  • "Abraham Lincoln collected news and commentary" The New York Times 


  • Abraham Lincoln: A Resource Guide from the Library of Congress
  • "Life Portrait of Abraham Lincoln", from C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits, June 28, 1999
  • "Writings of Abraham Lincoln" from C-SPAN's American Writers: A Journey Through History
  • Abraham Lincoln: Original Letters and Manuscripts - Shapell Manuscript Foundation
  • Lincoln/Net: Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project - Northern Illinois University Libraries
  • Teaching Abraham Lincoln - National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Works by or about Abraham Lincoln at Internet Archive
  • Works by Abraham Lincoln at LibriVox public domain audiobooks
  • In Popular Song:Our Noble Chief Has Passed Away by Cooper/Thomas

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