Abraham Lincoln was born on a cold day in February in 1809 in a one-room log cabin to Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. When he was seven years old, his family left Kentucky because of property problems and went to Indiana. They did not stay there very long and moved again. His mother died soon after that and his father remarried to a woman named Sarah Johnston. She took him under her wing and raised him as if he was her own child.
When his father decided to move again, Lincoln made the decision to move out on his own as he turned twenty one years old. He found a job later that year working for a business man, taking goods down the Mississippi river, from New Salem to New Orleans.
Because Lincoln was nothing more than a farm boy, he had little real education. He taught himself how to read and write, and read Shakespeare, the Bible and a book about George Washington. It is said that he walked twenty miles once just to borrow a book.
Lincoln started his career in politics at the age of 23, he was not very successful but at least he had started. Later on, he was elected the captain of the Illinois militia and helped to bury some bodies but that was about the extent of his contribution. He also worked in a store selling goods and then became a postmaster and surveyor. It was only in 1834 that he finally had some success with his political career when he won the state legislator and began to teach himself law.
He was admitted in the Bar and he moved to Springfield, Illinois and started to practice law with a friend. He became known as a formidable advisor and soon had the respect of the people in the area. He served in the House of Representatives for four terms. It was during this time that Lincoln began to express his views on slavery.
In 1844, Lincoln and a friend joined the republican party which at the time was newly formed. He continued his law practice. He had a case almost every day and it was not uncommon for him to use strategies that were basically unheard of during that time.
He married the daughter of a well-known slave owner, and out of the four children that they had together, only one reached adulthood. The child received the best education and he was sent to Harvard for college.
When Abraham Lincoln entered the presidential race, he was not the most popular candidate. Many did not think that he had a chance to win. The people who ran his campaign used the fact that he was one of the small people that worked himself to the top and used the nicknames Honest Abe and Rail Slitter very frequently. There were thousands of people campaigning for him in the North. In the South he did not do any campaigning, and because of that he was basically unheard of down there.
On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th president of the United States of America. He won by a landslide with only the support of the states in the North.
Although it was obvious that war was inevitable once the southern states declared themselves the Confederate union, Lincoln did everything that he could to preserve the peace. He refused to attack unless he was attacked. It did not take long for this to happen, and in 1861, Fort Sumter was attacked by the South and the war had begun.
Lincoln was a brilliant strategist and he personally chose his war generals. At the end of the war Lincoln attempted to bring peace and unity to the states as soon as possible, and his assassination made him a martyr for the idea of unity among the states