Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

  • Ranked #2: Lincoln was able to put the union back together and freed the slaves in the Southern States.
  • Summary: Lincoln was good-humored, witty and a good listener. Despite this, he also suffered from depression. He actually spoke in a high-pitched voice and pronounced words like “get” and “there” as “git” and “thar.” Due to this, Washington’s confidence in his ability to handle the problems facing America was pretty low.
  • Bio: Anybody who ever managed to know anything about US history has probably heard about Lincoln and what he did as President. When he started his presidency in 1861 he was considered a hick from the sticks by the Washington establishment.
    Due largely to his predecessors, the country was waging war against itself. The question of slavery had reached a point where states were seceding and forming the Confederacy. If this were not enough, his personal life was affected, as his wife Mary had been looking forward to a comfortable social life as a First Lady but received a war instead. Lincoln was often frustrated by his Union Generals who appeared reluctant to bring the war to the Confederates. To this extent, he went to the library and studied warfare himself so he could be more engaged in the effort. This was an extremely lonely time for Lincoln.
    He literally willed the Union to victory while reading the Bible for comfort. He would eventually appoint General Ulysses S.Grant to put an end to the hostilities. With the Union re-united and the abolishment of slavery, Lincoln’s life didn’t get easier. Just a few weeks before he would meet his fate at Ford’s Theater, he was shot at while riding his horse towards the White House late one evening. It knocked his hat off his head and left him uninjured. But nonetheless it was an ominous sign.
    An 1865 John Wilkes Booth was the most famous actor in America. He was literally the equivalent of Johnny Depp for his time. Despite a security guard stationed at Lincoln’s Presidential box at the theater on the evening of April 15th, Booth was able to to gain entry due to his familiarity with the building. Booth thought he would be considered a hero for destabilizing the government with his criminal act and was surprised when this never came about. Lincoln was committed to saving the country and eventually paid the ultimate price.
  • Pros: Freed slaves in Southern States. The Gettysburg Address. Won the Civil War and preserved the union. Considered one of the greatest leaders in American history.
  • Cons: Instituted martial law. Suspended Habeas Corpus. Arrested thousands of Anti-war protesters.
  • Born: February 12, 1809, Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky
  • Died: April 15, 1865 (aged 56) Washington, D.C.
  • Term: March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865 (2 terms / assassinated)
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Religion: No formal affiliation
  • Education: No formal education
  • Marriage: November 4, 1842, to Mary Todd (1818–1882)
  • Children: Robert Todd (1843–1926), Edward Baker (1846–1850), William Wallace (1850–1862), Thomas “Tad” (1853–1871)
  • Career: Lawyer
  • Vice President: Hannibal Hamlin | Andrew Johnson