“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…. ”
– Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was born Feb 12, in Hardin Country, Kentucky. His family upbringing was modest, his parents from Virginia, were neither wealth or well known. At an early age, the young Abraham lost his mother and his father moved away to Indiana. Abraham had to work hard splitting logs and other manual labour. But, he also had a thirst for knowledge and worked very hard to excel in his studies. This led him to become trained as a lawyer. He spent 8 years working on the Illinois court circuit; his ambition, drive and capacity for hard work were evident to all around him.
He married Mary Todd and had four children, although 3 died before reaching maturity.
As a lawyer, Abraham developed a great capacity for quick thinking and oratory. His interest in public issues encouraged him to stand for public office. In 1854 he was elected to the House of representatives and he tried to gain nomination for the Senate in 1858. Although he lost this election, his debating skills caused him to become well known within the Republican party. This reputation caused him to be elected as Republican nominee for President in 1860
The election of Lincoln as President in 1861, sparked the South to succeed from the North. Southern independence sentiment had been growing for many years and the election of a president opposed to slavery was the final straw. However, Lincoln resolutely opposed the breakaway of the South and so this led to the American civil war. The civil war was much more costly than many people anticipated and at times Lincoln appeared to be losing the support of the general population. But, he managed to keep the Republican party together, stifflying dissent by promoting the various Republican factions into the cabinet. Lincoln oversaw many of the military aspects of the war and promoted the general Ullysees S Grant to oversee the northern forces.
Although the war was primarily about succession and the survival of the Union, Lincoln also issued his memorable Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.
Eventually after 4 years of attrition the Federal forces secured the surrender of the defeated south. Lincoln had saved the union and also brought to head the end of slavery.
Dedicating the ceremony at Gettysburg Lincoln declared
“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.”
Lincoln was tragically assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, an actor on, April 14, 1865. He is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential and important presidents. As well as saving the union Lincoln was viewed as embodying the ideals of honesty and integrity.