Biography of Abraham Lincoln
by James Russell Lowell
Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States during one of the most consequential periods in American history, the Civil War. Before being elected president, Lincoln served in the Illinois legislature and lost an election for the U.S. Senate to Stephen A. Douglas. Nevertheless, his fierce campaign earned him a nomination for the presidency. The first Republican president ever, Lincoln led the Union to victory in the Civil War and ended slavery in America. On February 12, 1809 the 16th President of the United States was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. It is unlikely that his uneducated farming father, Thomas Lincoln, or his mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln had any idea that their first-born son (he had an older sister, Sarah) would eventually be considered by many historians as the greatest US president ever. Abraham's birth may have been largely uneventful but as with all of us his environment and family began to shape his life. Before Abraham Lincoln's 10th birthday he had lost 2 family members. Two years later Abrahams mother Nancy died from 'milk sickness'. He had also had a younger brother who died in infancy. Abraham Lincoln soon had a new stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston. Abraham Lincoln’s education consisted of little more than a total of 18 months throughout his early life, and was mostly from itinerant teachers. This did not stop young Abraham Lincoln thirsting for knowledge though. He was an avid reader and borrowed books from neighbors at every opportunity. When Lincoln reached 21 he moved to Illinois, where he was hired to build a flatbed boat and transport materials down the Mississippi river. Next he landed a job working at a general store, and it was noted that he was very sociable. Lincoln soon became interested in town affairs and attended meetings regularly. After being asked to do commentary on...