Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was one of the most important presidents of American history. He not only prepared the abolition of slavery, he also led the northern states through civil war and paved the way for a modern industrialized nation.

Origin and teenage years:

Abraham was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Hardin County, the son of a farmer couple. Several generations before him, his family moved from the East English county of Norfolk to America.

At age 7, his family moved to Indiana, where Abraham's mother died two years later. His father remarried in 1819, with the stepmother, unlike his real mother, insisting on basic general language and reading education. In addition to the heavy physical work on the field to which his father urged him, Abraham also learned to read and write independently. Abraham attended some schools, but only if there was no work in the fields. By the fact that he read a lot, he developed his skill in speech at an early age. It was not uncommon for neighbors to ask him to write letters for them.

At age 21, in 1830, his family moved again, this time to Illinois. Again, his father wanted to continue to involve Abraham for field work, which Abraham but strictly rejected and left his family to travel to New Salem. There he found work as a merchant. He also worked there as a surveyor and postmaster. His self-study, however, he continued throughout the time and developed his rhetoric steadily. Especially in a debating club he was able to prove his rhetoric, with which listeners brought him after some time to apply for the House of Representatives of Illinois.


Lincoln im Jahre 1832

Lincoln in 1832




The entry into politics:

Abraham was encouraged by his audience in the debating club to be a partisan of the Whigs. However, his goals for the development of the roads and the improvement brought him enough votes until 1834 to move into the House of Representatives and work there until 1842.

During his time in the House of Representatives Abraham completed his law studies and in 1836 he was admitted to the Bar Association of Illinois. In 1837 he opened his own law firm in Springfield with the lawyer John T. Stuart.




Family Foundation and Representative in Washington:

In 1842, Abraham married Mary Todd, who came from a wealthy family of planters and slaveholders. Because of his rejection of slavery, the wife's family was particularly against this marriage. From this marriage, 4 children were born, with only Robert Todd Lincoln reached adulthood.


Mary Lincoln

Mary Lincoln


After retiring from the House of Representatives in Illinois, Abraham strengthened his practice as a lawyer and acquired after a short time a good reputation as an expert on railway law. By 1846, he had also worked his way up to become one of the leaders in Whig's party and was elected to the Washington House of Representatives the same year.

During this time, there were some disputes with the incumbent President James K. Polk and his policies, which came to conflict with Mexico and the Mexican-American War. Except for a resolution 1849 to limit slavery in the District of Columbia, Abraham made in his office little attention. Living in Washington without his family, Abraham proposed to succeed Governor Oregon as Governor of the new territory and returned to Springfield, where he resumed his legal practice.




Slavery and his rise to president:

In the late 1840s and early 1850s, the political situation of the United States in the slave question became more acute. While the southern states continued to cling to slavery, which for the most part placed the workers on the cotton and sugar cane plantations, more and more states of the north were abolishing slavery.

With the Kansas-Nebraska Act of May 30, 1854, which should divide the area acquired by the French Louisiana 2 in Kansas and Nebraska, the slave question should also be decided by the white population living there. However, this resulted in bloody clashes between supporters and opponents of slavery.

The act also split Whig's party, where Abraham held a leading position. Later in the year, Lincoln teamed up with moderate slave opponents and hardliners in the Republican Party. In 1855 Abraham made the first attempt to get a seat in the Senate. Even 3 years later in 1858 he failed in the attempt. But his eloquence and political views made him an advocate for the abolition of slavery across the country, and the Republican Party saw him as a candidate for the next presidential election.

In 1860, Lincoln was proposed by his party as candidate for the presidency. He was able to prevail on 6 November 1860 against his counterparts Stephen A. Douglas of the North Democrats, John C. Breckinridge of the South Democrats and John Bell of the Constitutional Union. His swearing-in was scheduled to take place on March 4, 1861, but in the meantime, the Southern states were creating facts by leaving the Union and establishing their own state.


Ergebnis der Präsidentschaftswahl von 1860

Result of the presidential election of 1860




The beginning of the civil war:

The election of Abraham Lincoln as president was not the cause of the exit of the southern states, but it gave the southern states the decisive reason for the formation of their own state, because they did not want to accept a slave liberator as president.


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln


On December 20, 1860 South Carolina became the first state from the Union. In the following weeks followed Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and on March 2, 1861 Texas.


Lincolns Gegenspieler Jefferson Davis, Präsident der Konföderierten Staaten von Amerika

Lincoln's opponent Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America


First, Lincoln endeavored to hold talks with the South on reintegration, stressing that he would not be conducting the first military operations. However, his diplomatic efforts were dashed on April 12, 1861, when soldiers of the Southern Army fired at Sumter Fort, where Union soldiers were. Lincoln called for a 90 -duty conscription and began to prepare for a war with the southern states.




Civil war:

The first actions of the new President Lincoln after the attack on the Fort Sumter were the convocation of 75,000 conscript soldiers and the immediate blockade of the southern ports by its warships.

But after the defeat at Bull Run on July 21, 1861 showed that the war can not be won with a quick offensive and Abraham was preparing for a prolonged conflict. He subsequently extended the compulsory military service to 9 months and, as the first president, introduced general conscription, which led to massive resistance in some regions. Thus, in July 1863, the population revolted in New York and also threatened to appear from the Union.

Another problem was the missing and appropriate military leader for his northern army. Although Lincoln had a good organizer with General George B. McClellan, the general did not seize several chances to beat the Southern Army in Virginia and end the war prematurely. Only when he appointed Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman commanders of the West and East Army and worked out with them a plan to encapsulate the Southern Army, was a victory of the Northern States within reach again.




The presidential election of 1864 and the end of the war:

After the southern troops suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg in early July 1863, it was foreseeable that the southern states could no longer win the war from a military point of view. In addition, they were cut off from trade by the naval blockade of their ports, and their army was slowly bleeding out. As a result, under Jefferson Davis, the government continued to pursue the war until the 1864 presidential election, in the hope that a new and ready-to-talk president would be elected.

Shortly before the election, a re-election of Lincoln was under no good sign. According to the survey results, he was at that time very unpopular, because the war lasted too long and the losses of soldiers were very high. It was expected that his competitor and former General McClellan would win the election because he also agreed to talks with the Southern States and also considered its independence.

But as the news of the victories of the West Army under William T. Sherman, the capture of Atlanta and the early end of the war spread, the sympathy for Lincoln rose again and so he was re-elected on 8 November with 55% of the vote.

At the beginning of 1865, the victory of the northern states began to dwindle. On April 3, the capital of the southern states of Richmond was captured and the remnants of the Southern Army of General Lee capitulated on April 9 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.




The deadly assassination:

The final end of the war, the last southern states were only on April 26, 1865 at Durham in North Carolina, Lincoln was no longer able to experience.

On April 14, he attended a performance with his wife at the Ford's Theater in Washington. The actor, John Wilkes Booth, gained access to the president's box during the show, shooting him from a short distance with a pistol in the back of his head. Although present doctors tried to remove the bullet, but this was too deep and could not be brought out. Since Lincoln could not be transported to a hospital because of his poor condition, he was taken to the opposite private house (Petersen House). By the time he died the next morning at 7:22, Lincoln did not wake up from his unconsciousness.


Lithografie des Attentats ca. 1865 von links: Henry Rathbone, Clara Harris, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln und John Wilkes Booth

Lithograph of the assassination ca. 1865 from left: Henry Rathbone, Clara Harris, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth


Lincoln auf seinem Totenbett, Harper’s Weekly, 1865

Lincoln on his deathbed, Harper's Weekly, 1865


The assassin was able to jump from the box after the shot, broke his leg, but still managed to escape. Finally, on April 26, he and his accomplice David Herold were placed in a Virginia farmhouse by soldiers from the Union Army. During the firefight Booth was fatally beaten, Herold arrested and later executed.




The Adoration of Abraham Lincoln:

To this day, Abraham Lincoln is considered one of the most important presidents in the history of the United States. While regarded as the guardian of the Union in the white population, the black population vilifies him as a liberator of slavery.

In addition to countless cities, military bases, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the strategic nuclear submarine SSBN Abraham Lincoln are named after him.

Next his face adorns the 5 dollar bill and the 1 cent coin.

The most well-known monuments dedicated to Lincoln include the Lincoln Memorial, built in 1922 on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, and its head at Mount Rushmore, along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.


Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore






You can find the right literature here:


Team Of Rivals (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series)

Team Of Rivals (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series) Hardcover – Large Print, May 15, 2013

Originally published: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. A New York Times Bestseller
Basis for the movie Lincoln
On May 18‚ 1860‚ William H. Seward‚ Salmon P. Chase‚ Edward Bates‚ and Abraham Lincoln waited for the results from the Republican National Convention. Lincoln won‚ Goodwin demonstrates‚ because of his extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men. It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the union and winning the war.
This product is part of: Popular and Narrative Nonfiction - Large Print Standing Order Plan
The Thorndike Popular and Narrative Nonfiction - Large Print Standing Order Plan offers a broad range of current and bestselling nonfiction titles, along with biographies, histories, social commentaries, travelogues, politics, essays and humor. Five titles shipped every other month. Actual Large Print covers may be different from those shown.

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Lincoln Paperback – November 5, 1996

Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.

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Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency

Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency Hardcover – June 5, 2018

At the end of the summer of 1859, twenty-two-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than three thousand cases—including more than twenty-five murder trials—during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.

What normally would have been a local case took on momentous meaning. Lincoln’s debates with Senator Stephen Douglas the previous fall had gained him a national following, transforming the little-known, self-taught lawyer into a respected politician. He was being urged to make a dark-horse run for the presidency in 1860. Taking this case involved great risk. His reputation was untarnished, but should he lose this trial, should Harrison be convicted of murder, the spotlight now focused so brightly on him might be dimmed. He had won his most recent murder trial with a daring and dramatic maneuver that had become a local legend, but another had ended with his client dangling from the end of a rope.

The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The murder victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and his mentor. His accused killer, the young man Lincoln would defend, was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter. And to win this trial he would have to form an unholy allegiance with a longtime enemy, a revivalist preacher he had twice run against for political office—and who had bitterly slandered Lincoln as an “infidel…too lacking in faith” to be elected.

Lincoln’s Last Trial captures the presidential hopeful’s dramatic courtroom confrontations in vivid detail as he fights for his client—but also for his own blossoming political future. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system, as in this case Lincoln fought a legal battle that remains incredibly relevant today.

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