A Brief Biography of Abraham Lincoln

By Tim Lambert

His Early Life

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809 on a farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His parents were Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. They had 3 children, Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas. However, Thomas died in infancy. When Abraham was 7 his father moved to southwestern Indiana.

However, his mother died in 1818. Before the end of the year, his father married a widow named Sarah Bush Johnston who had 3 children of her own. Abraham had little schooling but he did learn to read and write and he was an avid reader. n In 1830 his father moved the family to Illinois.

In 1831 Abraham settled in New Salem and he tried a variety of jobs. He became a storekeeper but the business failed. He became a postmaster and then a surveyor. In 1834 he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. He studied the law to become a lawyer and he began to practice in 1836. He was also re-elected in 1836 and again in 1838 and 1840.

Meanwhile, he moved to Springfield in 1837. In 1842 he married a woman named Mary Todd. The couple had 4 sons.

Lincoln was a successful lawyer and from 1847 to 1849 he served in the US House of Representatives. In 1856 Lincoln became a Republican. In 1858 he stood for election as a senator but lost to a man named Douglas.

The President

Nevertheless in 1860, Lincoln became the Republican nominee for president. He duly won the presidential election in November 1860. In the months after the election, some southern states ceded from the union. The Civil War began shortly afterward.

The Unionists suffered defeat at Bull Run in July 1861. On 23 September 1862, Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves would be made free in any states still in rebellion on 1 January 1863. The war continued but in 1863 the Union began winning after their victory at Gettysburg in July. In November Lincoln made his famous speech The Gettysburg Address. He was re-elected president in 1864. The Civil War ended in 1865.

However Lincoln did not live to see it. John Wilkes Booth shot him on 14 April 1865. Lincoln was watching a play in Ford’s Theater when Booth shot him in the head. The president died the next day. He was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.