Abraham Lincoln, the United State’s 16th president, is known for ending slavery, for being one of the nation’s best presidents, and for being the first president to be assassinated. He came from a humble home and had very little formal education, but being the persistent and intelligent man that he was; he became a lawyer then got elected into the House of Representatives. He then went on to be elected president of the United States of America during a time that was filled with dissension between the southern and northern states. His gentle nature and ability to influence successfully others carried him through a Presidency that was cut short by his assassination.
Lincoln was born on February 11, 1809 as part of a poor family who lived in a one bedroom log cabin. His formal education was limited to a few months of school but he was an avid reader and began to borrow law books from a local attorney. He then became licensed to practice law and in 1847 Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives for one term. Then after two failed attempts at a seat in the Senate, he won the Republican nomination for President in 1860. He was then elected the 16th president of the United States of America.
Just a month before Lincoln was sworn into office, the Confederate States of America was formed by seven southern states in February of 1860. Lincoln tried to handle the conflict in a peaceful manner, trying to win over the south with his speeches. Despite his efforts, the Civil War began with a Confederate attack on Fort Sumpter on April 12, 1861. As Commander in Chief, Lincoln vigorously fought to win the war while ensuring not to alienate his loyal followers in the North and West. He also showed great knowledge of foreign affairs by avoiding a war with Britain in the Trent Affair with his Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863 declared that the slaves within the confederacy were forever free.
As the civil war came to an end in 1864, Lincoln was re-elected for another term as president of the United States. Lincoln was generous and forgiving to southerners who were willing to peacefully lay down their arms. He sought to quickly reunify the nation and show charity to all. However, on April 15, 1885 Abraham Lincoln went down in history as the first United States president to be assassinated. The assassination took place at Ford’s theater by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who believed that he was helping the South.
Abraham Lincoln will always be remembered as a man who went from very humble beginnings to holding the highest American office. He fought hard to free all slaves in the Unites States and successfully lead the nation through its only Civil War. He was a gentle man who showed mercy and forgiveness to the South. It is for these reasons that Abraham Lincoln will always be thought of as one of the nation’s best presidents.