Due to his role as saviour of the Union and emancipator of enslaved people, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and is recognized as one of America’s greatest heroes. His journey from humble origins to the highest office in the land is inspiring.
Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln were the parents of Abraham Lincoln. Thomas was a tough and diligent pioneer who prospered somewhat and was well-liked by his neighbours.
Lincoln’s older sister Sarah and his younger brother Thomas, both of whom died in childhood, were the couple’s other children.
His mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) when he was nine years old, on October 5, 1818, at the age of 34. The experience was traumatic for him, and he grew increasingly estranged from his father, quietly resenting the hard work he was forced to do at such a young age.
Lincoln stood six feet four inches tall, was rawboned and lanky in appearance, yet muscular and physically strong. He walked with a long stride and spoke with a backwoods twang. He was recognized for his axe skills, and he made a fortune splitting wood for fire and rail fencing when he was younger.
Young Lincoln subsequently moved to New Salem, Illinois, where he worked as a merchant, postmaster, and finally general store proprietor over several years. Working with the public, Lincoln refined his social skills and honed his storytelling aptitude, which made him famous with the locals.
On April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer.
He was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he was put into a coma for nine hours before passing on the next morning. Millions of people in both the North and South were saddened by his demise. Lincoln was assassinated just as his country needed him to finish the monumental task of reuniting the country. His passionate support for democracy and insistence that the Union was worth keeping exemplify the values of self-government that all countries strive for. Lincoln’s distinct compassionate personality and enormous national significance have left him with an indelible mark.
Before being returned to his last burial place in Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln’s remains were laid in state at the United States Capitol.