Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. He served from February 12, 1809 until April 15, 1865. He was president for five years, from March 4, 1861, to his assassination by John Wilkes Booth on April 15, 1865.
Lincoln is best recognized for his leadership during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Also, for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order that changed slaves’ legal status to ‘free.’
Here are some facts about Abraham Lincoln.
He was mostly self-taught.
Despite becoming a renowned lawyer, Lincoln lacked a college education. His whole schooling, as determined by traveling teachers, is considered to be less than a year.
Prior to entering national politics, Lincoln served in the Illinois state senate for four consecutive terms.
Though lawyers are frequently regarded as untrustworthy, ‘Honest Abe’s’ reputation for honesty and fairness helped him win local elections.
Lincoln was known as the “President of Firsts.”
He was the first bearded US President, the first to hold a patent and the first to be in an inaugural photograph. In the photo, John Wilkes Booth can also be seen standing on a balcony above.
Lincoln’s bride was born into a Rich slave-owning family.
On November 4, 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd of Lexington, Kentucky. Several of her half-brothers perished while fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln was not an abolitionist.
Lincoln had long been an ally of abolitionists and outlawed slavery by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, releasing over 3 million slaves.
However, Lincoln claimed in his first inaugural address that he had “no lawful jurisdiction” to “interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.”
His principal goal in the Civil War was to keep the Union together.
Both the North and South had abolitionists, slave supporters, pro-unionists, and neutral emotions, but it was Confederate secessionists that started the war by shooting on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861.
In response, Lincoln dispatched troops to retake lost forts and ‘preserve the Union.’
The measure to establish the United States Secret Service was on the President’s desk the night he was assassinated.
One of the Secret Service’s primary missions is to safeguard national leaders such as the President. It is probable that Lincoln’s life might have been saved if they had been present.
Lincoln’s bodyguard was not there during his assassination.
John Parker, the President’s bodyguard, abandoned his post to attend the play at Washington, DC’s Ford’s Theatre and then proceeded to the saloon next door during intermission. It was the same bar where John Wilkes Booth drank.
Nobody knows where Parker was at the time Lincoln was assassinated.
Lincoln is consistently recognized as one of the “top three” US Presidents.
Most academic historians, political scientists, and the general public rank Lincoln as one of the three all-time greats, with George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt.