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Abraham Lincoln November 1863

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."—Lincoln's 'House-Divided' Speech in Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858.


Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States. He was brought up in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. His parents were poor pioneers and Lincoln was largely self-educated. In 1836, he qualified as a lawyer and went to work in a law practice in Springfield, Illinois. He sat in the state legislature from 1834 to 1842 and in 1846 was elected to Congress, representing the Whig Party for a term. In 1856, he joined the new Republican Party and in 1860 he was asked to run as their presidential candidate. In the presidential campaign, Lincoln made his opposition to slavery very clear. His victory provoked a crisis, with many southerners fearing that he would attempt to abolish slavery in the South. Seven southern states left the Union to form the Confederate States of America, also known as the Confederacy. Four more joined later. Lincoln vowed to preserve the Union even if it meant war.  Fighting broke out in April 1861. Lincoln always defined the Civil War as a struggle to save the Union, but in January 1863 he nonetheless issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in areas still under Confederate control. This was an important symbolic gesture that identified the Union's struggle as a war to end slavery.  In the effort to win the war, Lincoln assumed more power than any president before him, declaring martial law and suspending legal rights. He had difficulty finding effective generals to lead the Union armies until the appointment of Ulysses S Grant as overall commander in 1864.  On 19 November 1863, Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address at the dedication of a cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, a decisive Union victory that had taken place earlier in the year. In 1864, Lincoln stood for re-election and won. In his second inaugural address, he was conciliatory towards the southern states. Five days after the surrender of Confederate commanding General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was shot while watching the play Our American Cousin with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and he passed away the next morning. His assassin, John Wilkes Booth was a strong supporter of the Confederacy. 

BiographyEdit

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809 near Hodgenville, Kentucky. He was brought up in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. His parents were poor pioneers and Lincoln was largely self-educated. In 1836, he qualified as a lawyer and went to work in a law practice in Springfield, Illinois. He sat in the state legislature from 1834 to 1842 and in 1846 was elected to Congress, representing the Whig Party for a term. In 1856, he joined the new Republican Party and in 1860 he was asked to run as their presidential candidate. In the presidential campaign, Lincoln made his opposition to slavery very clear. His victory provoked a crisis, with many southerners fearing that he would attempt to abolish slavery in the South. Seven southern states left the Union to form the Confederate States of America, also known as the Confederacy. Four more joined later. Lincoln vowed to preserve the Union even if it meant war.  Fighting broke out in April 1861. Lincoln always defined the Civil War as a struggle to save the Union, but in January 1863 he nonetheless issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in areas still under Confederate control. This was an important symbolic gesture that identified the Union's struggle as a war to end slavery.  In the effort to win the war, Lincoln assumed more power than any president before him, declaring martial law and suspending legal rights. He had difficulty finding effective generals to lead the Union armies until the appointment of Ulysses S Grant as overall commander in 1864.  On 19 November 1863, Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address at the dedication of a cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, a decisive Union victory that had taken place earlier in the year. In 1864, Lincoln stood for re-election and won. In his second inaugural address, he was conciliatory towards the southern states.  On 9 April 1865, the Confederate general Robert E Lee surrendered, effectively ending the war. It had lasted for more than four years and 600,000 Americans had died. On the night of April 14, Lincoln was shot while attending a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.. Lincoln was laughing at this line when he was shot; Lincoln immediately lost consciousness. He passed into unconsciousness with laughter and a smile on his face; Katherine M. Evans, a young actress in the play, who was offstage in Ford's green room when Lincoln was shot, rushed on the stage after Booth's exit, and said; "I looked and saw President Lincoln unconscious, his head dropping on his breast, his eyes closed, but with a smile still on his face".

A military surgeon described the head wound as mortal. The dying president was moved from the theater to the other side of the street to the Petersen House, where he remained in a coma for nine hours. The next moring Lincoln died at 7:22:10 a.m. As he died his breathing grew quieter, his face more calm. According to some accounts, at his last drawn breath, on the morning after the assassination, he smiled broadly and then expired; Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated. Lincoln's death is believed to have ended any hope of reuniting the country without any rancor. His assassin, John Wilkes Booth was a strong supporter of the Confederacy. Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated. Lincoln's death is believed to have ended any hope of reuniting the country without any rancor, but from the moment he died, he will be remembered, in a year's time he will be remembered, in thousands of year's time will be remembered, in millions of year's time he will be remembered, it may just be one single death on the face of this small meaningless planet but he will never be forgotten by its people.