Abraham Lincoln


.President’s Day.

Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln on February 18th ,1809. Thomas was a strong and determined pioneer who found a moderate level of prosperity and was well-respected in the community. The couple had two other children: Abraham’s older sister Sarah and younger brother Thomas, who died in infancy. In a land dispute, the Lincolns were forced to move from Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana in 1817, where the family “squatted” on public land to scrap out a living in a crude shelter, hunting game and farming a small plot. Thomas was eventually able to buy the land.

When young Abraham was 9 years old his mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) at age 34 and the event was devastating on him. A few months after Nancy’s death, Thomas married Sarah Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own. She was a strong and affectionate woman with whom Abraham quickly bonded. Though both his parents were most likely illiterate, Sarah encouraged Abraham to read. It was while growing into manhood that he received his formal education—an estimated total of 18 months a few days or weeks at a time. Reading material was in short supply in the Indiana wilderness. Neighbors recalled how Abraham would walk for miles to borrow a book. He undoubtedly read the family Bible and probably other popular books at that time such as Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrims Progress and Aesop’s Fables.

.Abraham Lincoln began his political career and was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834 as a member of the Whig Party. He supported the Whig politics of government-sponsored infrastructure and protective tariffs. This political understanding led him to formulate his early views on slavery, not so much as a moral wrong, but as an impediment to economic development. It was around this time that he decided to become a lawyer, teaching himself the law by reading William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. After being admitted to the bar in 1837, he moved to Springfield, Illinois and began to practice in the John T. Stuart law firm.

It was soon after this that he purportedly met Anne Rutledge. Before they had a chance to be engaged, a wave of typhoid fever came over New Salem and Anne died at age 22. In 1844, Abraham Lincoln partnered with William Herndon in the practice of law. Though the two had different jurisprudence styles, they developed a close professional and personal relationship. Lincoln made a good living in his early years as a lawyer, but found that Springfield alone didn’t offer enough work, so to supplement his income, he followed the court as it made its rounds on the circuit to the various county seats in Illinois. 

Abraham Lincoln served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849. His foray into national politics seems to be as unremarkable as it was brief. He was the lone Whig from the state of Illinois, showing party loyalty, but finding few political allies. He used his term in office to speak out against the Mexican-American War and supported Zachary Taylor for president in 1848. His criticism of the war made him unpopular back home and he decided not to run for second term, but instead returned Springfield to practice law.

By the 1850s, the railroad industry was moving west and Illinois found itself becoming a major hub for various companies. Abraham Lincoln served as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad as its company attorney. Success in several court cases brought other business clients as well—banks, insurance companies and manufacturing firms. Lincoln also did some criminal trials. In one case, a witness claimed that he could identify Lincoln’s client who was accused of murder, because of the intense light from a full moon. Lincoln referred to an almanac and proved that the night in question had been too dark for the witness to clearly see.  His client was acquitted.

About a year after the death of Anne Rutledge, Lincoln courted Mary Owens. The two saw each other for a few months and marriage was considered. But in time Lincoln called off the match. In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd, a high spirited, well educated woman from a distinguished Kentucky family. In the beginning, many of the couple’s friends and family couldn’t understand Mary’s attraction, and at times Lincoln questioned it himself. However, in 1841,thy broke the engagement but thy met again at a social function in 1842 and were married in the November of 1842

In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, and allowed individual states and territories to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. The law provoked violent opposition in Kansas and Illinois. And it gave rise to the Republican Party. This awakened Abraham Lincoln’s political zeal once again, and his views on slavery moved more toward moral indignation. Lincoln joined the Republican Party in 1856.

In 1857, the Supreme Court issued its controversial decision Scott v. Sanford, declaring African Americans were not citizens and had no inherent rights. Though Abraham Lincoln felt African Americans were not equal to whites, he believed the America’s founders intended that all men were created with certain inalienable rights. Lincoln decided to challenge sitting U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas for his seat. In his nomination acceptance speech, he criticized Douglas, the Supreme Court, and President Buchanan for promoting slavery and declared “a house divided cannot stand.” The 1858 Senate campaign featured seven debates held in different cities all over Illinois. The two candidates didn’t disappoint the public, giving stirring debates on issues ranging from states’ rights to western expansion, but the central issue in all the debates was slavery. Newspapers intensely covered the debates, often times with partisan editing and interpretation. In the end, the state legislature elected Douglas, but the exposure vaulted Lincoln into national politics.

In 1860, political operatives in Illinois organized a campaign to support Lincoln for the presidency. On May 18th at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Abraham Lincoln surpassed better known candidates such as William Seward of New York and Salmon P. Chase of Ohio. Lincoln’s nomination was due in part to his moderate views on slavery, his support for improving the national infrastructure, and the protective tariff. In the general election, Lincoln faced his friend and rival, Stephan Douglas, this time besting him in a four-way race that included John C. Breckinridge of the Northern Democrats and John Bell of the Constitution Party. Lincoln received not quite 40 percent of the popular vote, but carried 180 of 303 Electoral votes.

Abraham Lincoln selected a strong cabinet composed of many of his political rivals, including William Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates and Edwin Stanton. During Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency, the problem over slavery erupted and the Union and the Confederates started a Civil war.The Union believed that slavery was against God’s Law and that people of all shades should be treated as humans and just because some one is just a darker shade of brown does not mean that you treat them like an animal.On the other side the Confederates  sadly believed that they were superior to darker brown people and therefore they were to be treated as animals forgetting that God created them perfectly just like them.This thought came straight from the pit of hell. The idea that “the stronger live and the weaker die” had not yet be created but the Bible says that “the heart of man is desperately wicked who can know it” so people had the idea before Mr. Darwin created his evil theory .God in his Mercy worked through  Abraham Lincoln to finally end the Civil lwar and slavery was endend.On April 14th ,1865 whileAbraham and Mary Lincoln were watching a play a actor named John Booth shot Abraham Lincoln and he died . He was brought to Springfield ,Illinois where he was buried and went to be with the Lord. 

Abijah R.E.Levi

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