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Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

 Portrait, Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

16th President of the United States
(March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865)

Nicknames: "Honest Abe"; "Illinois Rail Splitter"

Born: February 12, 1809, in Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky
Died: April 15, 1865, at Petersen's Boarding House in Washington, D.C.

Father: Thomas Lincoln

Mother: Nancy Hanks Lincoln
Stepmother: Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln
Married: Mary Todd (1818-1882), on November 4, 1842
Children: Robert Todd Lincoln (1843-1926); Edward Baker Lincoln (1846-50); William Wallace Lincoln (1850-62); Thomas "Tad" Lincoln (1853-71)

Religion: No formal affiliation
Education: No formal education
Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Republican
Other Government Positions:

  • Elected to Illinois State Legislature, 1834
  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1847-49

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Vice Presidents: Hannibal Hamlin (1861-65); Andrew Johnson (1865)

Cabinet:

Secretary of State
William H. Seward (1861-65)
Secretary of the Treasury
Salmon P. Chase (1861-64)
William P. Fessenden (1864-65)
Hugh McCulloch (1865)
Secretary of War
Simon Cameron (1861-62)
Edwin M. Stanton (1862-65)
Attorney General
Edward Bates (1861-64)
James Speed (1864-65)
Postmaster General
Montgomery Blair (1861-64)
William Dennison (1864-65)
Secretary of the Navy
Gideon Welles (1861-65)
Secretary of the Interior
Caleb B. Smith (1861-63)
John P. Usher (1863-65)

Notable Events:

  • 1861-1865
    • The Civil War
  • 1863
    • President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, freeing all slaves in the states that had seceded and that were not yet under Northern control.

Points of Interest:

  • Lincoln was the first president to die by assassination.
  • Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The same play was also running at the McVerick Theatre in Chicago on May 18, 1860, the day Lincoln was nominated for president in that city.
  • The contents of his pockets on the night of his assassination weren't revealed until February 12, 1976. They contained two pairs of spectacles, a chamois lens cleaner, an ivory and silver pocketknife, a large white Irish linen handkerchief, slightly used, with "A. Lincoln" embroidered in red, a gold quartz watch fob without a watch, a new silk-lined, leather wallet containing a pencil, a Confederate five-dollar bill, and news clippings of unrest in the Confederate army, emancipation in Missouri, the Union party platform of 1864, and an article on the presidency by John Bright.
  • At 6 foot, 4 inches, Lincoln was the tallest president.
  • Abe Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died when the family dairy cow ate White Snakeroot and she drank the milk.
  • Lincoln had a wart on his right cheek, a scar on his thumb from an ax accident, and a scar over his right eye from a fight with a gang of thieves.
  • Mrs. Lincoln's brother, half-brothers, and brothers-in-law fought in the Confederate Army.
  • Lincoln was the only president to receive a patent, for a device for lifting boats over shoals.
  • He was the first president to wear a beard.
  • During the Civil War, telegraph wires were strung to follow the action on the battlefield. But there was no telegraph office in the White House, so Lincoln went across the street to the War Department to get the news.
  • He was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration. John Wilkes Booth (his assassin) can be seen standing close to Lincoln in the picture.
  • Lincoln and his wife held seances in the White House. They had great interest in psychic phenomena.
  • His son, Robert, who was in Washington when his father was killed, was also on the scene when Garfield was shot in 1881 and McKinley was assassinated in 1901.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be born outside of the original thirteen colonies.
  • Lincoln loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Biographies: