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Table of Contents
For more information, see the Abraham Lincoln fact file below or download the 24-page comprehensive worksheet pack which can be utilised within the classroom or home environment.
Date of Birth
February 12, 1809
Date of Death
Assassinated on April 15, 1865
Place of Birth
Hardin County, Kentucky
Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks
Mary Todd Lincoln
Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Baker Lincoln, and William Wallace Lincoln
Lincoln’s formal education consisted of about 18 months of schooling,
but he was largely self-educated and an avid reader.
Lawyer and Politician
Reason for Fame
16th President of the United States
In 1862, Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation which freed slaves in territories not already under Union control; over three million slaves were freed. Lincoln was considered by historians to be one of the top three greatest presidents in U.S. history, along with George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Personal Life and Early Political Career
- Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky. He was the second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
- When young Abe was nine years old, his mother died of milk sickness known as tremetol. His father lost all their land holdings due to faulty property titles. Upon bankruptcy, the family moved to Indiana.
- After the death of his mother, Abe was taken care of by his sister, Sarah. In December 1819, Lincoln’s father remarried. His stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston, encouraged him to read. Due to lack of money, Lincoln walked miles to borrow books such as Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Aesop’s Fables.
- In March 1830, his family moved to Macon County, Illinois, and then to Coles County after some time. Lincoln was 22 years old when he decided to live on his own and do manual labor to survive. He worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and surveyor. In addition, his skill in wielding an ax to split wood helped him make a living.
- While staying in New Salem, Illinois, Lincoln became popular with the locals for his skills in public speaking and storytelling.
- In 1832, the Black Hawk War between the Native Americans and the United States government broke out. The volunteers elected Lincoln as their captain. It was during this time that Lincoln made considerable political connections.
- On November 4, 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd, a well-educated woman from Kentucky. They had four children but only one, Robert, survived to adulthood.
- At the age of 25, Lincoln started his political career when he was elected to the state legislature of Illinois as a member of the Whig Party. He supported government-sponsored infrastructure and protective tariffs. At the same time, he self-studied to become a lawyer. By 1837, he was admitted to the bar and moved to Springfield, Illinois.
- He became a practitioner at the John T. Stuart Law firm. By 1844, Lincoln partnered with William Herndon.
- From 1847 to 1849, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives where he expressed his opposition to the Mexican-American War and support of a presidential candidate, Zachary Taylor. His short stint in national politics made him unpopular, so he decided to practice law in Springfield.
- In the 1850s, he became the company attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad. Lincoln made considerable income after handling court cases for banks, insurance companies,
and manufacturing firms.
- By 1856, Lincoln joined the newly formed Republican Party. The rise of the Republican Party was due to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. The Act repealed the Missouri Compromise allowing territories to decide whether to allow slavery.
- In 1858, Lincoln ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate. He faced his opponent, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, author of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, in a series of debates held in cities across Illinois.
- Lincoln publicly opposed slavery. He lost the election but the debates exposed him to national politics.
- On May 18, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was chosen as the Republican Presidential candidate during the Republican National Convention held in Chicago, Illinois. He surpassed other candidates such as William Seward of New York and Salmon P. Chase of Ohio.
- In the four-way race general election, Lincoln won with 40 percent of the popular vote and 180 out of 303 electoral votes. He defeated long-time rival Stephen Douglas, Northern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, and Constitution Party’s John Bell.
Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency
- On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln took his oath of office as the 16th President of the United States at the East Portico, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. His oath-taking was administered by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.
- Newly elected President Abraham Lincoln selected some of his political rivals to compose his Cabinet members. It included William Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edwin Stanton, and Edward Bates.
- Months before Lincoln’s inauguration, seven Southern states had seceded from the Union, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas.
- By April 1861, the Confederacy signaled the beginning of war within the United States. As a result, President Lincoln asked the U.S. Treasury to distribute $2 million for war materials without an appropriation from Congress.
- In addition, over 75,000 volunteers were recruited into military service. Moreover, he suspended the writ of habeas corpus, allowing the arrest and imprisonment of suspected Confederate members without a warrant of arrest.
- On April 12, 1861, the Civil War broke out during the siege at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Some of the major causes of the Civil War included the following: Argument between states’ rights versus the federal government, industry economy in the North versus agricultural economy in the South, westward expansion, and dispute between the pro-slavery South and anti-slavery North.
- On May 20, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which enabled the distribution of 270 million acres of land to be claimed and settled by American citizens.
- On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued a presidential proclamation initiating the abolition of slavery. Commonly known as the Emancipation Proclamation, it eventually gave way to the total abolition of slavery in the United States as ratified by the 13th Amendment, on December 6, 1865.
- On December 8, 1863, the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction was made by Lincoln pardoning the Confederates who would be loyal to the Union and the Constitution.
- In order to amend the relationship between the Northern and Southern states, Lincoln initiated the Ten Percent Plan.
- On November 19, 1863, Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history, commemorating the casualties of the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
- On March 3, 1865, the Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help emancipated slaves with their working conditions and education. The federal agency also sought to help white people who were trapped in the South.
- Finally, the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Virginian army, to General Ulysses S. Grant, at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Assassination, Death, and Legacy
- On April 15, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer, assassinated Lincoln at the Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C. The next day, Lincoln’s death was announced. Booth escaped and went into hiding for 12 days before he was shot dead by a Union soldier in Maryland.
- In 1863, Lincoln declared the national day of celebration for Thanksgiving every last Thursday in November.
- Ironically, he signed the creation of the U.S. Secret Service on the day he was assassinated. During those times, the main purpose of the agency was to stop money counterfeiting. It was only in 1901 when its main responsibility became to protect the Commander-in-Chief. Lincoln was the first U.S. president to
- In addition, it was during President Lincoln’s term that a national banking system was set up. Moreover, he also established the Department of Agriculture.
- Political historians today believe that Abraham Lincoln was the most influential U.S. president in history. He was known as the Great Emancipator. He was one of the few politicians who strongly opposed slavery and believed that women should have the right to vote.
- In 1849, Lincoln became the only president to obtain a patent under his name. He designed a method to keep vessels afloat in shallow waters.
- Lincoln was one of the four U.S. presidents featured in a carved sculpture at Mount Rushmore, along with Presidents Washington, Roosevelt, and Jefferson.
- In 1922, The Lincoln Memorial, located in the National Mall across from the Washington Memorial in Washington, D.C, was opened to the public.
- Illinois is nicknamed the Land of Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln Worksheets
This bundle includes 24 pages of ready-to-use Abraham Lincoln worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Abraham Lincoln who was the 16th President of the United States and served from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He led the United States through its Civil War and in doing so, preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Abraham Lincoln Facts
- The Great Emancipator
- The 16th President
- American Civil War
- Presidential Firsts
- Mapping the States
- Monumental Facts
- Gettysburg Address
- Lincoln Legacy
- Political Cartoon Says
- Lincoln and Kennedy
After completing these worksheets, students will be able to:
- Have a clear understanding of Abraham Lincoln as a man and President and how his time as president led the United States through its Civil War and in doing so, preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.
- Define and have a clear understanding of the emancipation proclamation.
- Answer a series of challenging questions to hone their knowledge.
- Have a grasp of Lincoln’s traits and what led him to be a great president.
- Understand how his time as President was one of the hardest given the civil war and abolishment of slavery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Abraham Lincoln?
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He is best known for leading the country through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis.
What were some of Abraham Lincoln’s accomplishments?
Some of Abraham Lincoln’s accomplishments include preserving the Union during the Civil War, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves in Confederate states to be free, and pushing for the passage of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.
Why is Abraham Lincoln considered one of America’s greatest presidents?
Abraham Lincoln is considered one of America’s greatest presidents because of his leadership during the Civil War, his role in preserving the Union, and his efforts to end slavery. He is also widely admired for his speeches and writings, particularly the Gettysburg Address.
How did Abraham Lincoln die?
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. He was shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer.
What was Abraham Lincoln’s legacy?
Abraham Lincoln’s legacy includes preserving the Union, ending slavery, and modernizing the economy. He is remembered as one of the greatest American presidents and a symbol of freedom and democracy.
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