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Abraham Lincoln

United States Feb. 12, 1809 April 14, 1865


Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He preserved the Union during the U.S. Civil War and brought about the emancipation of slaves.

The son of a Kentucky frontiersman, Lincoln had to struggle for a living and for learning. Five months before receiving his party's nomination for President, he sketched his life:

"I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all."

Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois. He was a captain in the Black Hawk War, spent eight years in the Illinois legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. His law partner said of him, "His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest."

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln won re-election in 1864, as Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. In his planning for peace, the President was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms and join speedily in reunion.

The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: "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.... "

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South. The opposite was the result, for with Lincoln's death, the possibility of peace with magnanimity died.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and under a just God, can not long retain it.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Let us have faith that right makes might, and that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

I leave you hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Fourscore and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Force is all - conquering, but its victories are short - lived.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am. None who would do more to preserve it.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Determine that the thing can and shall be done,and then we shall find the way.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

It's not the years in the life. It's the life in the years.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.