Abraham Lincoln is one of the most recognized heroes of America. He rose from humble beginnings to become the most powerful man in America. He is regarded as the savior of the Union. His eloquence is beyond comprehension while his resilience, honesty, and endurance give him have a unique appeal among his countrymen and the world at large. The self-taught lawyer advocated for the end of slavery and coordinated the Civil War from the front. His dramatic death via assassination left the country without a charismatic leader. Some refer to him as the country’s martyr. Below are ten facts about President Lincoln.
10. 16th President
Abraham Lincoln was voted in the 16th president of the United States on November 6, 1860. He was elected on the newly formed Republican party. His victory was purely due to the votes he got from west and the north. He had minimal support from the south because they saw him as being anti-slavery. Lincoln went ahead to have the majority in the Electoral College despite the fact that his opposers had ganged up against him. He was successfully elected and the Southerners vowed to leave the union before he took the oath of office in March the following year.
9. The Great Emancipator
Lincoln is remembered for the Emancipation Proclamation which he issued on January 1, 1863. The executive order aimed at setting free the more than 3.5 million slaves in the Confederate States. Following the order, as soon as any of the slaves escaped towards the federal troops past Confederate confines, that slave became free. The proclamation allowed freed slaves to be enrolled as soldiers of the Union. The enrolled black soldiers were a big boost in the Civil War leading to a big win for Lincolns’ Union Army. The process led to the freedom of all slaves in the US after the 13th amendment of December 1865. The 13th amendment ensured that slavery ceased completely and shall never exist again in the United States. Lincoln is best remembered as the Great Emancipator.
8. Lincoln Grew Up Very Poor
Abraham Lincoln was born to very poor parents in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Born on February 12, 1809, to Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the young boy was raised up in a single-roomed log cabin. His parents were neither educated nor had properties, therefore, the early life of Lincoln was not privileged. Lincoln worked as a farm hand in the farms that his parents leased. His family moved from Kentucky to Ohio to Indiana to Illinois due to land dispute making him not have a stable home. Lincolns mother died in 1818 followed by his sister in 1828. He was brought up by a stepmother. Lincoln was self-educated having had no privilege of attending a formal school for long enough to comprehend education. However, he had an interest in reading, writing, poetry, and scribbling. He was not close to his father who was always out looking for means to feed the family. He worked to earn some money in his teenage years and later set to live alone when his family migrated to Illinois. He did a variety of jobs such as farmhand, shopkeeper, and even a wood splitter using an axe.
7. Known as Honest Abe
Abraham Lincoln was nicknamed Honest Abe for forthright honesty. In his days as a lawyer, Lincoln was known for his shrewdness, fairness, use of common sense, and utter honesty. The reputation led to his clients nicknaming him Honest Abe. Earlier in life when he was employed in sales, he was patient, alert, and responsive to customers’ needs. He would do anything to keep customers happy. An instance is mentioned when he was working in a store as a clerk. Upon realizing that he had overcharged a customer, he walked for over 3 miles that night to return the excess money to the customer.
6. Face is on Mount Rushmore
Abraham Lincoln’s face is carved on stones of Mount Rushmore. The 60 feet sculpture is located in Keystone, South Dakota. The design by Gutzon Borglum features the faces of the 4 famous former presidents namely Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. The four were chosen for being the most remembered and most influential presidents having had the greatest impact on the United States at the time of carving.
5. Seen As One of the Greatest Presidents
Abraham Lincoln is ranked as one of the greatest leaders America have ever had. Many views him as a symbol of liberty and a person of outstanding ability. He was an advocate of rights of the common man and a symbol of hope to the oppressed. His is seen as devoted to the principles and beliefs of the Founding Fathers and one who fought to stop human bondage. Both the northerners and southerners agree he was a nationalist who ensured the Union remained as one regardless of the cost. Before becoming president, he stood for business interests and infrastructural development such as the railway. It was against this background that he was re-elected as president despite tough opposition. In his 2nd inaugural speech of March 4, 1865, he emphasized on the need to live together as a nation without malice and to rebuild the south. His deeds led to the construction of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Abraham Lincoln is surely the undisputed hero of America.
4. Gave The Famous Gettysburg Addess
The Gettysburg address of November 19, 1863, is one of the greatest speeches that president Lincoln gave and one of the most famous speeches in US history. The address was made following the victory of the Union army in the Battle of Gettysburg. The victory led to Lincoln gaining a strong base of supporters in that region. The 3 minutes and 272 words speech is widely quoted to date. With great eloquence, Lincoln highlighted the purpose of the Civil War, the rights and equality of all people, and the vision of the founding Father America. He also emphasized on democracy, liberty, and freedom within America. He asserted his support for the emancipation of all slaves. The Famous Gettysburg address is the most quoted in the history of America.
3. Died By Assassination
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at night by a person known as John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, at 10:13 pm in Washington, DC. Lincoln was in Ford’s Theatre watching a play. By then the Civil War was almost over. The assassinator was an actor so could easily access the theatre. Booth, a spy and Confederate supporter, planned the assassination very well. He then timed when the bodyguard had left his position to take a drink in an adjacent saloon. The president was sitting on the balcony in the state box. Booth attacked the unguarded president from behind firing shots at his head from a close range. Booth then ran away but was tracked down and killed 12 days later. The president died 7 hours later inside Petersen House.
2. He Is the Tallest president
Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president that ever ruled the United States of America. Young Lincoln was tall, masculine, and made long slides while walking. He had an athletic body and too tall for his age. He once won a wrestling match when attacked by the leader of a gang called the “Clary’s Grove boys.” The physical trait made him a towering figure especially during his campaign trail for various positions. At 6 feet 4 inches, he could intimidate any rival. A documented case is when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly in 1832. When giving a speech, one of his supporters was attacked prompting Lincoln to grab the attacker by the neck and the trousers and threw him away. Drawings done during campaign period depicted him as a gangly frame springing past his vertically challenged opponents. He seemed even taller because of the tall hat he wore.
1. First President With a Beard
Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the president who maintained a full beard. He began growing a beard in 1860 after Grace Bedell, an 11-year-old, suggested it to him. All his earlier photos do not portray a bearded Lincoln. His portraits on the $5 bill and the penny appear bearded. The bearded face is also seen in postage stamps and most of the monuments.
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