Abraham Lincoln Facts
If you are looking to study the most interesting people from history, Abraham Lincoln is a good place to start!
Obviously, he was the 16th President of the United States and was influential in the shaping of our nation’s history.
However, there is a lot more to the man that folks called “Honest Abe” than that! Read on to find out some interesting facts about one of our greatest presidents.
Quick Abraham Lincoln Facts
- Lincoln was a wrestler. In 300 games played over 12 years, he only lost one
- Only around 18 months of formal education were provided to Lincoln throughout his lifetime.
- “A piece of floating driftwood”, as the youthful Abraham Lincoln put it, was how he saw himself.
- Abraham Lincoln is the sole president of the United States who has possessed a patent.
- As the head of the American military, Lincoln put his life in danger to carry out his responsibilities.
- He paddled a canoe from Macon County, Illinois, to New Salem, Illinois, when he was 21 years old.
- Lincoln was the tallest of all the US presidents.
Abe was born in 1809 in Kentucky. He and his family lived in a log cabin. He was an inquisitive boy who loved the outdoors.
Abraham was also a hard worker who would help his father, Thomas Lincoln, on their farm or chop firewood for neighbors.
In 1818, when Abraham was nine years old, his mother died, and in 1819, just one year later, his father remarried.
Though he was devastated by the loss of his mother, Abe quickly bonded with his stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston.
The Lincolns moved from Kentucky to Indiana, which is where Abraham got his education. All told, he only attended about 18 months of school.
However, he was very studious and would walk for miles just to borrow and return books from his neighbors. He used these books to teach himself to read.
In 1830, the Lincolns moved again, this time to Illinois. Now that Abe was in his 20’s, he decided to leave his family and strike out on his own.
He was now 6’4” tall, making him much taller than most men of the time.
Though Abe is most famous for being President, he held several jobs beforehand as well. These included a woodcutter, shopkeeper, postmaster, general store owner, soldier, and lawyer.
All of these jobs helped to prepare him for his life in politics.
After practicing law for several years, Abe ran for and was elected to, the Illinois State Senate in 1834.
Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842. She was a high-spirited and well-educated woman from an important Kentucky family.
The couple had four children, who Abe adored. Unfortunately, only one of them, Robert, survived to adulthood.
Lincoln in Washington DC
Abe’s first journey to Washington, D.C. to work was not as President. He first served a single term in the United States House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849.
It was not altogether a successful term of service, and Lincoln did not seek a second term.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States in 1860. He only received about 40 percent of the popular votes, though he got 180 of the 303 available Electoral votes.
His election was mostly due to Northern support, as he wasn’t even included on the ballot in most Southern states.
The Civil War
Shortly after Lincoln was elected President, the Southern states seceded from the Union, and with their attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, the Civil War began.
This war was the deadliest in the history of the United States. Over 600,000 soldiers died during the conflict, which was fought over slavery.
Lincoln was president for the entirety of the war. His opinion of slavery shifted with the conflict.
His priority was to try and keep the country together, and he said that if he could do it by keeping all the slaves, he would do it.
However, as the war progressed, he deemed it necessary and right to free all slaves, which he did when he issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
The war waged on for two more years, until it ended in 1865, with the North winning.
Related: 15th Amendment Facts
Lincoln, however, did not live to see the end of the war. On April 14, 1865, Abe and Mary Todd were out to see a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
During the play, a man named John Wilkes Booth, who wanted the South to win the Civil War, shot and killed President Lincoln. Sadly, he was only 56 years old.
A Great Man
Abraham Lincoln rose from humble beginnings to be one of our best presidents. He was an honest and hardworking man, who wanted what was best for our country.
Abe helped guide our country through a tough Civil War and helped us to realize that all men are created equal.
Now, why not explore some of our other great presidents?