My name is Abraham Lincoln. I was born on February 12 in 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky. I am most known for the emancipation proclamation, becoming the 16th President of the United States, and ending slavery. Before all of this, I led a peaceful life on a farm for the first 7 years of my life. Then 1816 rolled around, and my father Thomas had us move beyond the Ohio River to Indiana. Kentucky was a slave state. My father considered this immoral, as do I.
The soil we had was also not ideal among other things; it made most sense to leave. For the next few years, my father, mother Nancy Lincoln, and my sister Sarah settled in a place called little pigeon creek. Place I would learn to call home. Life was rather boring for the next few years.
A few years rolled by, my mother’s death resulted in father’s remarriage and my new mother Sarah entering my life, along with her children becoming my siblings.
She enrolled me in school, somewhere I finally felt like I belonged. I mostly learned things from self-reading, but being able to speak publicly and talk to new people in a new place was the most fun I had ever had. I was unable to explore my new interests as freely I’d like however. My father required me for farm work, which I dreaded.
By 1830, we left Indiana for Illinois, for new fertile land. At 21, being six foot four, I was always in demand on the farm, but I was about ready to try something new.
That’s when I went to New Salem. The whig party in Illinois shared many views as I did regarding slavery and the expansion of the United States, so I gave them my support. They won the state legislature in 1834. After shop keeping, I decided to start taking things seriously. I always enjoyed the art of captivating an audience, and I have a great respect for the legal system, so I started self studying law. Every piece of knowledge I had unrelated to farming was practically learned through self studying, as no one could teach me things as good as myself. I started practicing law in 1836.
After moving to Springfield, Illinois, I took my practice more seriously. Serving anyone who would pay me. Didn’t matter how big or small. People started calling me ‘Honest Abe’. I’ll admit, it did have a ring to it. I met the love of my life here, Mary Todd. After complications, we eventually married in 1842. I could not be happier.
I became congressman for Illinois 1846, but I was unpopular, and returned back to Springfield in 1849. Stephen Douglas in 1854 was fighting for slavery to be territorially voted. I couldn’t stand this and reentered politics. After debates and a lost senate election, in May 1860, I was chosen as the presidential candidate for the republican party. My skills in debating made me popular among the politicians, despite my lack of experience. A familiar face, Douglas was my adversary in this election, but I managed to prevail over him and Breckenridge of the south. I was inaugurated in March 1861 as the 16th President.
During this time, there was a great divide between the North and the south, which had broken off as the ‘Confederate’ States of America. They were pro-slavery. There was a war taking place, and I studied strategy and tactics in order to assist best I can, helping the north, now known as the ‘Union’.
There were thousands of Americans ready to serve our country for the rights of their freedom, so on January 1st,1863, I issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which allowed all African-Americans to serve in our Army and Navy. I met with a man I do admire, Frederick Douglass on August 10, 1863 to discuss full equality of Africans. He was mostly self taught, like me. On November 19th of this same year, I delivered a speech in Gettysburg, dedicated to the lives of the soldiers lost. For liberty and respect to those who died fighting, for the freedom of our fellow men.
By January 31st, 1865, the 13th Amendment was approved by congress to abolish slavery, and is sent for ratification. The war went on until April 9th, when General Robert E. Lee of the confederate army had finally surrendered, and our long fought battle for true freedom, no matter what the color of your skin, was finally achieved. The 13th amendment is to be ratified soon. As a celebration, Mary Todd and I are heading out to see a play, ‘Our American Cousin’. In these closing moments, we must stay in unity, and liberty. Principles this nation was founded on. I will keep striving to reach these principles.
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