Key Dates

1834 Lincoln is elected to the Illinois State Legislature

1836 Lincoln begins to practice law.

1846 Lincoln is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1856 Abe Lincoln joins the Republican Party.

1858 Stephan Douglas defeats Lincoln for a U.S. Senate seat.

1860 The Republican Party nominates Lincoln for U.S. President.

1861 Eleven southern states secede from the Union.

1861 Civil War begins. 1862 Willie Lincoln dies at age 11.

1863 President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.

1863 Congress enacts laws to draft soldiers.

1864 Lincoln appoints General Ulysses S. Grant Commander of the Union Army.

1865 Congress passes the 13th Amendment that abolishes slavery.

1865 Civil War ends.


Abraham Lincoln
1861 -1865
16th President

Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. He was the first President to be born in Kentucky.

He had no church affiliation. Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842

Abraham Lincoln lost two sons during his lifetime: Edward 4, in 1850 and William 11, in 1862.

Abe Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln and son Tad.
by Mathew B. Brady on February 9, 1864.
Library of Congress

President Abraham Lincoln failed at many things before he became president. He failed

- as a businessman.
- as a shopkeeper.
-as a farmer
-at his first attempt for a political office.
-when he sought the office of speaker.
-in his first attempt to go to Congress.
-when he sought appointment to the U.S. Land Office
-in his running for the U.S. Senate.
-when his friends tried to get him nominated for Vice President.
President Lincoln was the tallest president -- 6 ft. 4 in., weighing about 180 pounds.

President Lincoln had two Vice Presidents Hannibal Hamlin (1861-1865) and Andrew Johnson (1865).

Abraham Lincoln patented his floating dry dock on May 22, 1849, patent #6469. He was the first U.S. President to receive a patent.

The Lincoln-Douglas debates centered upon a Senate seat from Illinois. Lincoln won national prominence, but Douglas got the job.

Abraham Lincoln grew a beard because a little girl wrote him a letter telling him that he would look more handsome with a beard.

Mud Slinging- In the campaign of 1860 his opponents said Abe was homely and an ignoramus.

Called two-faced by a rival, Lincoln responded, "If I had another face, do you think I'd wear this one?"

He liked wrestling.

His son Tad owned a pair of goats. The goats were named Nanny and Nanko. He also made a pet of a turkey that was sent to the Lincoln's for Thanksgiving dinner. He named the turkey Jack. Tad begged for Jack's life and Lincoln gave the turkey a presidential pardon.

The King of Siam offered several dozen elephants Lincoln. Lincoln turned down the gift. ( The King thought the army could use the elephants in the Civil War.

President lincoln poster
Poster from Lincoln's 1864 presidential campaign in New York.
Library of Congress.

Abraham Lincoln lead the US in the US Civil War, from 1861-1865
The second child, at the age of 12, became the only child of a president to die in the White House.

President Lincoln was shot at twice before John Wilkes Booth killed him. Both times were while he was on his way to the Soldier's Home and Lincoln joked about them and ordered that they not be publicized.

Abraham Lincoln was the first President to be assasssinated.

He was shot by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865 at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. He as watching a play called "Our American Cousin."

President Lincoln died on April 15, 1865 in Washington, D.C. He was 56 years and 62 days old. He is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Ill.

On November 7, 1876 thieves tried to steal Lincoln's body from his tomb. They wanted to get $200,000 to return the body, but they failed to get his body out of the casket.

Quotes from Abraham Lincoln:

"If I am killed, I can die but once; but to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again."
President Lincoln1864

"A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me."
Abraham Lincoln Prairie Years, 1829

" Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties." April 27, 1856. Kalamazoo, MI.

Quote- During his first campaign for President “Well, Mary, if nothing else comes out of this scrape, we are going to have some new clothes.”

From his first inaugural address: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”  

Lincoln's Tomb
Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois


Quick Facts


Wife: Mary Todd Lincoln



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: February 2, 2012