In a one-room cabin in Kentucky back in 1809, a legend was born. Abraham Lincoln lived in that cabin with his parents, Thomas and Nancy, and his siblings, Sarah and Thomas. Sarah was the oldest, born in 1807. Abraham was the middle children, And unfortunately, his youngest brother died at the age of three due to the high death rate of this era.
During his childhood years, Abraham Lincoln became self-educated, and was often found reading and studying many books and topics.
In 1830, Lincoln made his way to Illinois and attempted to run for the Illinois General Assembly, the legislature of the state that consists of the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate. He lost his first election, but won two years later and proceeded to win reelection three more times after that. During this time, Lincoln grew interested in studying law, and by 1846, he set out for U.S. Congress and gained a seat in the House of Representatives.
Throughout the 1850s, the question was asked of whether or not states should support slavery.
This question divided the nation due to the different opinions of different states. Lincoln opposed slavery, but tried to avoid conflict as much as possible. The divide, however, led to the “Lincoln Douglas Debates” with Stephen Douglas, which reflected on the issue at hand. The attention that Lincoln gained from these debates led him to run for president in the 1860 election. Lincoln won the election, and became the 16th President of the United States.
Lincoln entered the office at a difficult time, just as the Civil War was underway. Lincoln was challenged to win the war against the Confederacy, while balancing the issue of slavery, and planning a way to reconstruct the nation after the war.
The Confederates surrendered on April 9th, 1865 at the Appomattox Court House. Following these four long years of war, Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, decided to attend a play. While watching the play, a Confederate supporter, John Wilkes Booth, snuck into Lincoln’s viewing booth and shot him in the head. Lincoln died later that day, and the nation mourned their great loss.
Abraham Lincoln passed away before he could achieve all of his goals, but he was still an inspiration to many. Through his beliefs and actions, Lincoln started the march for Civil Rights in American History, which advocated for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. During his presidency, he created the Emancipation Proclamation, which states that “all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free”. The Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for Civil Right victories and the 13th Amendment, which served to abolish slavery. Slavery was put to rest a year after the passing of Lincoln.
Due to his dedication and hard work, Lincoln left this world as a legacy. He passed the torch for future leaders to follow in his path, and exemplified that all men are created equal. Although Abraham Lincoln did not get to live to old age, the years he lived made a profound impact on the world. Are you making your years count? Are you changing the world?