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EARLY LIFE: Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, which is located in Kentucky. Abraham's early education was lacking, as his father and mother were poor, self-sufficient people. Young Abraham and his family soon moved from Kentucky to southern Indiana. However, when Abraham grew, he moved yet again to Illinois. It was in Illinois that Lincoln spent much of his life, that is, before moving to the White House in the early days of the 1860s. Abraham became a lawyer in the mid to latter part of his life, before deciding to run for the United States Senate. In 1858 Abraham Lincoln, or "Honest Abe" ran for the senate against the small-in-stature but large-in-speech, Stephen Douglas (also known as the "Little Giant"). Abraham Lincoln lost the 1858 election for the United States Senate, but Lincoln had already made himself a name in politics, and he would use his new fame to help him win the 1860 election.
PRESIDENCY: Though he lost his run for senator in 1858, Lincoln would remain undiscouraged and run for presidency in the highly-important election of 1860. Abraham Lincoln, a northern Republican who didn't want slavery to expand into the new territories, won the election. Nevertheless, southerners were none-to-pleased with Lincoln and his values. So on December 20, 1860, South Carolina announced that "The Union is Dissolved!" After South Carolina's secession, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana quickly left the Union in January of 1861. Texas seceded in February, Virginia in April, Arkansas and North Carolina in May, and Tennessee in June--all of 1861. Kentucky, Missouri, Deleware, and Maryland remained Border States (allowing men to enlist for both sides, but remaining loyal to the Union). Lincoln refused to let these nations just secede--he insited that no state actually had the right to secede. Abraham Lincoln, though he received no "proper" education and was self-taught, was quaint and folksy in his speeches. Lincoln made it easy for even those who didn't attain a high level of learning to understand what he was saying. Lincoln's famous "Gettysburg Address," given November 19, 1863, commemorated what America had been, the loss at Gettysburg in July, and what our nation should strive for. Lincoln reinstated many of Edward Everett's (who had spoken before Lincoln at Gettysburg) thoughts, while still watering down Everett's two hour speech into a memorable three minute speech. While Abraham Lincoln had much trouble finding a general who could out-maneuver General Robert E. Lee, he succeeded in finding General U.S. Grant in 1864 and placing him in command of all the United States' armies. It would be General Grant who would lead the Union to ultimate victory, when the Confederate Army surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.
DEATH: Just 5 days after Lee surrendered to Grant, President Abraham Lincoln was shot in the back of the head and killed. Abraham Lincoln had went to Ford's Theater in order to watch a play. But as Lincoln and his wife were watching a play in the "Presidential box," southern sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth, shot Lincoln in the head. Lincoln died a few hours later (on April 14, 1865). Secretary of War (Edwin M. Stanton) supposedly said "Now he belongs to the Ages." Lincoln's Vice President, Andrew Johnson, would now take control of the White House, and the Reconstruction Era would begin.
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