Lesser-known and interesting facts about 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln:
Abraham Lincoln, the great emancipator, was the 16th President of the United States, renowned for his fierce exertions in solidifying a decisive clasp of democracy in the country through securing the triumph of the Union in the Civil War against the Confederacy in the south. He was also engaged in the emancipation of the enslaved and endeavoured to counter the expansion of slavery in the nation.
Born on February 12, 1809, in the backwoods of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln hailed from a humble background. With little to their name, his family made do on a farm where Lincoln assisted his father. He, however, had no aim to become a farmer. Reading pleased him from the formative years of his life, though he did not have many books to read during his childhood.
Lincoln’s mother passed away while he was young and thereafter he forged a profound bond with his stepmother, who nurtured his passion for reading. For such a prolific thinker in the latter half of life, Abraham Lincoln attended little school to shape his mind. Even upon becoming of age, he did not have any ambitions in life.
Lincoln moved with his family to Illinois in 1830 and began to pick up odd jobs as a shopkeeper, rail-splitter, postmaster, among others, before enlisting in the Black Hawk War where he was designated the captain of a company in 1832. Around the same time, he began to exhibit curiosity in matters of nation-building and policy and took his shot at becoming a legislator.
Lincoln lost his first election, but his proficiency in conversing and capacity to influence the audience moved many, ensuing in his reelection to the Illinois State Assembly several times. In 1836, upon clearing the bar exam, Lincoln began to practice law and over the next two decades came to be a distinguished lawyer in the state, traversing across the country to oversee cases for railroads, banks, insurance companies, and manufacturing firms.
Lincoln embarked upon a career in national politics in 1847 by serving a brief term at the Congress, the lone leader from Illinois to represent the Whigs party. He later joined the Republican Party in 1856, and it was here that he first spoke against slavery — deeming it to impede economic evolution.
Lincoln ran for the post of US Senator in 1858 against Stephen Douglas. He lost the position, but his debates and remarks during the campaign heralded him as a reformer, and a frontrunner of democracy and emancipation in the country — a proclamation that would oversee his ascend to the Presidency in 1960.
The friction brewing between the northern and southern parts of the country reached a climax during Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in the form of a Civil War. Lincoln spent most of his Presidency ensuring the victory of the Union to establish federal law in the southern states. On January 1, 1863, he delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, reshaping the purpose of the Civil War from saving the Union to abolishing slavery.
Lincoln is often quoted as America’s greatest president. A bold activist and an audacious commander-in-chief, Lincoln wielded every power at his disposal to ascertain victory in the Civil War and abolish slavery in the United States.
Here are 8 facts you might not know about Abraham Lincoln:
- Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer, teaching himself the theory and practice of law before he opened a law practice with a partner in Illinois, and earned the nickname “Honest Abe,” for his brutal and honest appeals in court.
- When Lincoln was a small child, he was kicked in the head by a horse, and it was thought that he was dead for several days.
- Lincoln’s debates against senatorial opponent Stephen Douglas to abolish slavery were so outstanding that they claimed him the candidacy to the four-way presidential race of 1860, where Lincoln got more votes than any other candidate.
- Following his loss in his first race for the Illinois State Assembly in 1832, Lincoln had gone on to lose a race for the U.S. Congress, two races for the U.S. Senate, and one campaign for a vice-presidential appointment.
- Lincoln married Mary Todd of Lexington, Kentucky on 4 November 1842. His wife belonged to an affluent family of slave-owners. Several of her half-brothers also died serving in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
- Lincoln grew up in a highly religious Baptist family. Although Lincoln never joined any established church, he considered himself a Christian. He also attended Protestant church services with Mary Todd Lincoln and his children.
- Lincoln is the only American President to hold a patent to his name. Lincoln’s design, which became U.S. Patent No. 6469, envisaged the invention of an inflatable bellows structure aimed at refining the navigation of boats in shallow waters.
- Lincoln became the first president to be assassinated when he was shot on April 14, 1865, just days after he oversaw the victory of the Union in the south and the end to the Civil War that had shadowed him throughout his Presidency.