Photo Essay

Abraham Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. Born February 12, 1809 and assassinated on April 15, 1865. Lincoln was a Lawyer, Captain in the Black Hawk War, State Legislator and Congressman before losing Senate race to Stephen Douglas. In 1860, he secured the presidential nomination for the Republic Party. Lincoln became the President beating out 3 challengers, two Democratic and one Constitutional Union Party challengers. Hannibal Hamlin was his Vice President during his fist term, the two never met until elected. Both Hamlin and Lincoln had strong opposition to slavery.

Before Lincoln was inaugurated, 7 southern states declared secession. The American Civil War would officially begin on April 12, 1861 when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter. 11 states would eventually declare secession. Four years of war and over 600,000 Americans would lose their lives.

In September of 1862, Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation which was an executive order freeing slaves to serve in the military. Contrary to public belief the order did not outlaw slavery or make them citizens. It merely paved the way for this to happen and led many slaves to escape or rebel against their masters. In 1883 the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg, lead to Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. The three-minute speech and 272 words would become one of the most famous speeches in the nation history. It so short it is included it below:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth" - Abraham Lincoln

With re-election in 1864 and the war nearing an end, Andrew Jackson a Democrat was selected as his new Vice President to help unite the nation and reconstruction of the South. On January 31, 1865 the House would pass the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. Requiring 2/3 of Congress, the vote narrowly passed 119-56 with every Republican and 16 Democrats supporting the amendment. This was the first amendment to the Constitution since 1805.

Civil War ended with a series of Confederacy surrendered. On April 9, 1865 General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox, VA. Lincoln would be assassinated days later on April 15, 1865. Andrew Jackson became president. On May 9, 1865 the Confederate President Johnson officially surrenders the South. But it was not until June 23, 1865 when the Cherokee leader and General Stand Watie surrendered in Doaksville, OK that the war was really over.

Lincoln successfully held together the nation and reunified the United States of America. The following are some Lincoln images and Civil War site.

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