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What were Abraham Lincoln’s politics?

How did abraham lincoln get into politics, what were abraham lincoln’s chief goals in the american civil war, what is abraham lincoln’s legacy, what was abraham lincoln’s personal life like.

Alexander H. Stephens

Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party and later a Republican . He believed that the government’s job was to do what a community of people could not do for themselves. One of his greatest preoccupations as a political thinker was the issue of self-governance and the promise and problems that could arise from it. The choice by some to allow the expansion of slavery was one such problem and was central to the American Civil War . Although opposed to slavery from the outset of his political career, Lincoln would not make its abolition a mainstay of his policy until several years into the war.

From 1834 to 1840, Abraham Lincoln occupied a seat in the Illinois state legislature. He also practiced law in Illinois during the 1830s and ’40s, and in that time he became one of the state’s most renowned lawyers. He first entered national politics in 1847 while serving a single term in Congress . In 1858 he made a bid for the Senate in a much-publicized race which he ultimately lost but which transformed him into a nationally recognized political figure. In 1860 he was nominated at the Republican National Convention to be the party’s presidential candidate, and he embarked on a presidential campaign that he would win.

Abraham Lincoln’s chief goal in the American Civil War was to preserve the Union. At the outset of the war, he would have done so at any cost, including by allowing slavery to continue. But abolishing slavery would become a nonnegotiable objective for him as the war progressed because of his own long-expressed abhorrence for the practice and because of the growing antislavery sentiment among his fellow Northerners. His intransigence on the subject scuttled possibilities of a peace conference between the Union and the Confederacy in 1864. By winning the war, he achieved both these objectives—reunion and abolition.

For many, Abraham Lincoln has gone down in history as something of a martyr for his country. That’s in part because of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth , which happened to occur on Good Friday —a connection that has been drawn time and again. But Lincoln had already begun to be mythicized during his lifetime, some of his contemporaries drawing parallels between him and figures like George Washington . Lincoln had his critics as well, particularly in the South: there were those who regarded him as an opponent to the values of personal freedom and states’ rights .

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a backwoods cabin in Kentucky. His father was a pioneer and a farmer, and his mother was a deeply religious woman who died when Lincoln was young. His father’s second wife adored Lincoln and is said to have stoked his love of learning. Lincoln would go on to marry Mary Todd and have four boys with her, only one of whom survived into adulthood.

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Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln , byname Honest Abe, the Rail-Splitter , or the Great Emancipator , (born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville , Kentucky, U.S.—died April 15, 1865, Washington, D.C.), 16th president of the United States (1861–65), who preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

Lincoln and his cabinet

Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique appeal for his fellow countrymen and also for people of other lands. This charm derives from his remarkable life story—the rise from humble origins, the dramatic death—and from his distinctively human and humane personality as well as from his historical role as saviour of the Union and emancipator of enslaved people. His relevance endures and grows especially because of his eloquence as a spokesman for democracy . In his view, the Union was worth saving not only for its own sake but because it embodied an ideal, the ideal of self- government . In recent years, the political side to Lincoln’s character, and his racial views in particular, have come under close scrutiny, as scholars continue to find him a rich subject for research. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. , was dedicated to him on May 30, 1922.

Follow Abraham Lincoln from a frontier cabin to the White House where he guided America through the Civil War

Lincoln was born in a backwoods cabin 3 miles (5 km) south of Hodgenville, Kentucky, and was taken to a farm in the neighbouring valley of Knob Creek when he was two years old. His earliest memories were of this home and, in particular, of a flash flood that once washed away the corn and pumpkin seeds he had helped his father plant. His father, Thomas Lincoln, was the descendant of a weaver’s apprentice who had migrated from England to Massachusetts in 1637. Though much less prosperous than some of his Lincoln forebears, Thomas was a sturdy pioneer. On June 12, 1806, he married Nancy Hanks. The Hanks genealogy is difficult to trace, but Nancy appears to have been of illegitimate birth. She has been described as “stoop-shouldered, thin-breasted, sad,” and fervently religious. Thomas and Nancy Lincoln had three children: Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas, who died in infancy.

Learn how Abraham Lincoln's frontier childhood and early appetite for reading shaped his character

In December 1816, faced with a lawsuit challenging the title to his Kentucky farm, Thomas Lincoln moved with his family to southwestern Indiana . There, as a squatter on public land, he hastily put up a “half-faced camp”—a crude structure of logs and boughs with one side open to the weather—in which the family took shelter behind a blazing fire. Soon he built a permanent cabin, and later he bought the land on which it stood. Abraham helped to clear the fields and to take care of the crops but early acquired a dislike for hunting and fishing. In afteryears he recalled the “panther’s scream,” the bears that “preyed on the swine,” and the poverty of Indiana frontier life, which was “pretty pinching at times.” The unhappiest period of his boyhood followed the death of his mother in the autumn of 1818. As a ragged nine-year-old, he saw her buried in the forest, then faced a winter without the warmth of a mother’s love. Fortunately, before the onset of a second winter, Thomas Lincoln brought home from Kentucky a new wife for himself, a new mother for the children. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, a widow with two girls and a boy of her own, had energy and affection to spare. She ran the household with an even hand, treating both sets of children as if she had borne them all; but she became especially fond of Abraham, and he of her. He afterward referred to her as his “angel mother.”

Close-up of terracotta Soldiers in trenches, Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China

His stepmother doubtless encouraged Lincoln’s taste for reading, yet the original source of his desire to learn remains something of a mystery. Both his parents were almost completely illiterate, and he himself received little formal education. He once said that, as a boy, he had gone to school “by littles”—a little now and a little then—and his entire schooling amounted to no more than one year’s attendance. His neighbours later recalled how he used to trudge for miles to borrow a book. According to his own statement, however, his early surroundings provided “absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course, when I came of age I did not know much. Still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the rule of three; but that was all.” Apparently the young Lincoln did not read a large number of books but thoroughly absorbed the few that he did read. These included Parson Weems’s Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington (with its story of the little hatchet and the cherry tree), Daniel Defoe ’s Robinson Crusoe , John Bunyan ’s Pilgrim’s Progress , and Aesop ’s Fables . From his earliest days he must have had some familiarity with the Bible , for it doubtless was the only book his family owned.

In March 1830 the Lincoln family undertook a second migration, this time to Illinois , with Lincoln himself driving the team of oxen. Having just reached the age of 21, he was about to begin life on his own. Six feet four inches tall, he was rawboned and lanky but muscular and physically powerful. He was especially noted for the skill and strength with which he could wield an ax. He spoke with a backwoods twang and walked in the long-striding, flat-footed, cautious manner of a plowman. Good-natured though somewhat moody, talented as a mimic and storyteller, he readily attracted friends. But he was yet to demonstrate whatever other abilities he possessed.

After his arrival in Illinois, having no desire to be a farmer, Lincoln tried his hand at a variety of occupations. As a rail-splitter, he helped to clear and fence his father’s new farm. As a flatboatman, he made a voyage down the Mississippi River to New Orleans , Louisiana . (This was his second visit to that city, his first having been made in 1828, while he still lived in Indiana.) Upon his return to Illinois he settled in New Salem, a village of about 25 families on the Sangamon River . There he worked from time to time as storekeeper, postmaster, and surveyor. With the coming of the Black Hawk War (1832), he enlisted as a volunteer and was elected captain of his company. Afterward he joked that he had seen no “live, fighting Indians” during the war but had had “a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes .” Meanwhile, aspiring to be a legislator, he was defeated in his first try and then repeatedly reelected to the state assembly. He considered blacksmithing as a trade but finally decided in favour of the law . Already having taught himself grammar and mathematics, he began to study law books. In 1836, having passed the bar examination, he began to practice law.

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Essay on Abraham Lincoln

A person, whose whole life is an inspiration, starting from his education nothing was easy for him, still his belief and his strong determination made things easy for him. A person, who was elected as the President of America, abolished slavery and gave new birth to America.

Short and Long Essays on Abraham Lincoln in English

Read some essays given here and create your own to complete your assignments on the related topic.

Abraham Lincoln Essay 10 Lines (100 - 150 Words)

1) Abraham Lincoln served as the 16 th president of America.

2) It was 12 February 1809 Sunday, when this great leader was born.

3) Nancy Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln were his parents.

4) Being born in a poor family, he faced many difficulties.

5) He faced many failures but never gave up hope.

6) He never went to school but worked hard to educate himself.

7) In 1832, he started his career in politics and faced failure.

8) He worked hard and brought the federal government in America by ending slavery.

9) The life of Abraham Lincoln set inspiration and motivation for everyone.

10) This great leader was killed on 15 April 1865 Saturday.

Essay 1 (250 Words) - Facts about Abraham Lincoln

It was 12 February 1809 when a President was born and his name was Abraham Lincoln. He was the 16th President of America. He ended the American civil war and made people free from slavery. He was a unique person and there is a lot to learn about his life.

Some Facts about His Life

“Life is hard but so very beautiful” – Abraham Lincoln

Life is not always unfair it will definitely give you a chance and it is up to you how you take it. So, always be prepared and focus on your skills because a person with strong skills can never be defeated. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln

Essay 2 (400 Words) - Abraham Lincoln: Life & Carrier


A person with lots of courage and knowledge, he changed the world and brought some remarkable changes and he is still alive in our hearts. He was born on 12 February 1809 at Hardin County, Kentucky. His parents were Nancy Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln, he was their second child. It was his grandfather who named him Abraham.

His Early Life

Abraham had two siblings but one of them died just after his birth. Her elder sister Sarah was 2 years older than him. When he was 9 his mother left him, she died due to milk sickness. Then his father married a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston and had 3 children with her. Sarah was a nice lady and she always encouraged Abraham to do what he liked.

Abraham loved to spend his time reading, writing, and other literary works. He was not from a very good background; his father was a poor farmer. He visited school only for a few months and he focused on self-education. He believed in learning and gaining knowledge.

His Carrier

He started helping his father in his teens, he joined two jobs at a time to earn more and help his family. They hardly use to manage their needs so he stepped out for earning. In the year 1930, he with his family moved to Illinois, due to an epidemic. Although he moved with his family, he went alone and built his own house in New Salem, Illinois.

In 1839 he met Mary Todd she was the daughter of Robert Smith Todd a renowned as well as a rich lawyer. He married her and got an inspiration to become a lawyer like his father. Later he took part in the elections and was badly defeated; lack of money, lack of good friends, and lack of proper education were the main reasons behind his defeat.

Later he worked as a caption in Black Hawk War and during his speech he saw his popularity. He won 277 votes out of 300 seats which were not a bad score. He served as a postmaster of New Salem and never stopped his learning. He started reading and writing, simultaneously he wanted to study law. He completed his studies and studied Law. After this, he started his political carrier.

It is not everyone who born with a silver spoon, people struggle, and then they earn either name or wealth. Many famous people had a very tragic and struggling life story but, in the end, they win and their struggles work an inspiration for others. Really Lincoln was an amazing person with strong determination. Although he had a tragic past, we never found him demoralized. There was a time when he lost his children and then he was scattered but his poverty never affected him. His story inspires us and taught us how to deal with our problems.

Essay on Abraham Lincoln

Essay 3 (500 - 600 Words) - Why Abraham Lincoln is Still Alive Among Us

His name itself carries a positive vibe and does not needs and introduction. A hardworking man with true determination and a curious urge to reform society.

Who Was Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln was the 16th President of America, also ended slavery, and promoted the federal government. Because of these changes, he is still believed to be one of the best presidents of America.

His Birth and Family

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809 and his parents were Nancy Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln. They were from an average family and use to manage their food by farming. Abraham was their second child and there was an elder sister Sarah. He also had a younger brother but he died just after his birth.

In the year 1818 Abraham’s mother died due to milk sickness and as a result, they scattered. He was just 9 at that time so, his father married a widow and she had 3 children. All of them started living together and she treated Abraham like his own child.

His Education and Carrier

Abraham never visited the school, once he started and it continued only for a couple of months. But he was fond of studies and decided to educate himself. He used to read books, write poems, books were his all-time favorite. His step-mother always encouraged him for acquiring knowledge. He used to walk miles to get a book and it was his determination and his neighbours also admired him.

He wanted to start his carrier in politics; he also faced slavery many times in his life and was a strong opposer. It was 1832 when for the first time he entered politics and took part in the Illinois General Assembly but he failed and noticed that his education, lack of money and friends were the main reason behind his failure.

Soon in the Black Hawk War he won 277 seats out of 300 and served as New Salem's postmaster. He never stopped reading and educating himself and his education continued. Soon he became a lawyer and served his best services.

He helped people with no money and use to handle a case in such a way that he soon got famous. He never asked for more money for any of this case. Once a man gave him extra money but he took the required amount and returned the extra money. He was really a great man and it is not a post that makes a person great, it is his personality that makes a post great.

How Lincoln Abolished Slavery?

It was 1860 when entire America was struggling; he was elected as the President of America. Some were in support of slavery and were ready to form another state whereas some opposed it. Whites were the owners of big lands in southern states and they use to bring black people from Africa to work in their farms and use to continue them as their slaves. Whereas people in the northern states were against this and they wanted to abolish slavery.

America was about to part into two parts but Abraham never wanted to do so and he was also strongly against slavery. But his decision could affect a lot of people.

Soon there was a split among people in the North and in South and Abraham was also a part of this war and stated “A Nation cannot exist half free and half slave”. He tried his best to convince people and he won the war. He also stated that the American constitution also based on equality. As a result, the nation united and slavery was no more a part of America. Although, it took many years to digest this fact, but was stated illegal.

It is not so easy to be successful; you have to struggle like an iron in the fire to get a shape. Lincoln faced many problems but he always learned from them. Apart from his son’s death, none of the other problems affected him. He struggled for his studies, for his carrier, for love, for the country, for everything. Still, he never complained to anyone and it really inspires us. Although he was shot dead, he is still alive among us. We can kill a person not his thoughts and words.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Ans . The birthplace of Abraham Lincoln is the Kentucky state of the USA.

Ans . Abraham Lincoln was practicing as a lawyer before he became the President of the USA.

Ans . Abraham Lincoln was regarded as a hero because he stood up for the injustice against African Americans.

Ans . The cause of the death of Abraham Lincoln was an assassination.

Ans . The last words uttered by Abraham Lincoln were 'She won't think anything about it'.

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Ankita Yadav

Ankita has completed her master's degree from Banaras Hindu University (BHU). She is interested in blogs and articles writing very creatively and elaborating her ideas and views on different topics for her readers. She is a nature lover along with the spirit to save the environment from destruction. She loves traveling and explores her creative ideas in her writings.

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Collection Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

Abraham lincoln and emancipation.

The Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment brought about by the Civil War were important milestones in the long process of ending legal slavery in the United States. This essay describes the development of those documents through various drafts by Lincoln and others and shows both the evolution of Abraham Lincoln’s thinking and his efforts to operate within the constitutional boundaries of the presidency.

Almost from the beginning of his administration, abolitionists and radical Republicans pressured Abraham Lincoln to issue an Emancipation Proclamation. Although Lincoln personally abhorred slavery, he felt confined by his constitutional authority as president to challenge slavery only in the context of necessary war measures. He also worried about the reactions of those in the loyal border states where slavery was still legal. Lincoln is said to have summed up the importance of keeping the border states in the Union by saying "I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky."

Events early in the war quickly forced Northern authorities to address the issue of emancipation. In May 1861, just a month into the war, three slaves (Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend) owned by Confederate Colonel Charles K. Mallory escaped from Hampton, Virginia, where they had been put to work on behalf of the Confederacy, and sought protection within Union-held Fortress Monroe before their owner sent them further south. When Col. Mallory demanded their return under the Fugitive Slave Law, Union General Benjamin F. Butler instead appropriated the fugitives and their valuable labor as "contraband of war." The Lincoln administration approved Butler's action, and soon other fugitive slaves (often referred to as "contrabands") sought freedom behind Union lines.

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

The increasing number of fugitives and questions about their status eventually prompted action by the United States Congress. On August 6, 1861, Congress passed the First Confiscation Act, which negated owners' claims to escaped slaves whose labor had been used on behalf of the Confederacy.  In 1862 Congress also acted against slavery in areas under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Congress abolished slavery in the federal District of Columbia on April 16 with a compensated emancipation program. This action must have been particularly satisfying to President Lincoln, who as Congressman Lincoln had in the late 1840s drafted a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. Finding the measure lacking support, Lincoln never introduced it. Congress further outlawed slavery in federal territories in June 1862.

Some Union commanders took matters into their own hands, declaring emancipation by proclamation. In September 1861, General John C. Frémont attempted to address the "disorganized condition" in the Department of the West by declaring martial law and proclaiming free the slaves of active Confederate sympathizers in Missouri. Frémont failed to inform first President Lincoln, who requested Frémont amend his proclamation to conform to the 1861 Confiscation Act. When Frémont refused, Lincoln publicly ordered him to do so, which helped calm anxiety expressed from the border states , but angered those who supported Frémont's actions. Although he knew Frémont had exceeded his authority in freeing slaves in Missouri, Lincoln continued to urge the border slave states to explore legal emancipation measures of their own. He also remained hopeful that voluntary colonization options for former slaves would address the concerns of many white Americans about where emancipated slaves would go. While several pieces of emancipation-related legislation included funds for colonization outside of the United States, the few actual attempts at colonization during the Civil War failed . Furthermore, most former slaves had no interest in leaving their homeland.

Like Frémont, General David Hunter also tried his hand at emancipation when in May 1862 he declared slaves free in his Department of the South, which included Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Once again, Lincoln felt compelled to overrule a commander who overstepped his authority with regard to emancipation. Although in revoking Hunter's action, Lincoln suggested that the power to determine such military necessities belonged to the president.

Preliminary Draft of Emancipation Proclamation

In principle, Lincoln approved of emancipation as a war measure, but he postponed executive action against slavery until he believed he had both the legal authority to do so and broader support from the American public. Two pieces of congressional legislation passed on July 17, 1862, provided the desired signal. The Second Confiscation Act included provisions that freed the slaves of disloyal owners, authorized the president to employ African Americans in the suppression of the rebellion, and called for exploring voluntary colonization efforts.  The Militia Act authorized the employment of African Americans in the military, emancipated those who were enslaved, and freed their families, if owned by those disloyal to the Union. Not only had Congress relieved the administration of considerable strain with its limited initiative on emancipation, but it also had demonstrated an increasing public acceptance of emancipation as a military act.

By July 1862 Lincoln had written what he termed his "Preliminary Proclamation." He discussed his thoughts for an emancipation proclamation with cabinet secretaries William H. Seward and Gideon Welles on July 13, 1862, while sharing a carriage ride from the funeral of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton's infant son James. Welles later recalled External that neither he nor Seward were prepared to offer opinions on a subject that Seward thought "involved consequences so vast and momentous," but he agreed with Seward's initial impression that the measure was both "justifiable" and perhaps "expedient and necessary."

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

Nine days later, on July 22, Lincoln again raised the issue of emancipation in a cabinet meeting, at which he read the content of his preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation . In addition to reiterating his support for gradual emancipation in the loyal states, the draft proclamation declared that as of January 1, 1863, "all persons held as slaves within any state or states, wherein the constitutional authority of the United States shall not then be practically recognized, submitted to, and maintained, shall then, thenceforward, and forever, be free." Whereas the Confiscation Acts freed the slaves of individual owners who demonstrated disloyalty, Lincoln's proclamation freed slaves of all owners residing in geographic areas engaged in rebellion as "a fit and necessary military measure."

The reaction of Lincoln's cabinet members was mixed. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, correctly interpreting the proclamation as a military measure designed both to deprive the Confederacy of slave labor and bring additional men into the Union army, advocated its immediate release . Attorney General Edward Bates, a conservative, opposed civil and political equality for blacks but gave his support. Welles feared the unintended consequences of emancipation, but remained silent, as did Interior secretary Caleb Smith. Postmaster General Montgomery Blair foresaw defeat in the fall elections and opposed the proclamation. Treasury secretary Salmon P. Chase supported the measure, which he noted in his diary went further than his own recommendations, but his tepid enthusiasm for the proclamation was surprising given his history as an outspoken opponent of slavery. Secretary of State Seward expressed concern about the diplomatic implications of emancipation and noted the lack of recent Union military victories, which might cause the proclamation to be interpreted as an act of desperation. Better to wait for success on the battlefield, Seward counseled, and issue the proclamation from a position of strength. Lincoln agreed, and the course was set.

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

While Lincoln waited for his generals to secure a victory, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley provided Lincoln with an opportunity to test public reaction to emancipation as a war measure. In an open letter to President Lincoln published on August 20 under the heading " The Prayer of Twenty Millions ," Greeley urged Lincoln to recognize slavery as the root cause of the war and act boldly with regard to emancipation. Although he already had a draft emancipation proclamation prepared, Lincoln responded with his own open letter to Greeley, which he published in the National Intelligencer in Washington, D.C. Lincoln stated plainly that the goal of his administration's policies, including those related to slavery, was to save the Union. "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that." Lincoln carefully noted that this represented his official position. He intended "no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free."

The bloodiest single day of the Civil War occurred on September 17, 1862, as Confederates in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia battled the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Union General George B. McClellan, at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland. While the Battle of Antietam was not quite the decisive Union triumph Lincoln hoped for, Lee's retreat was victory enough for Lincoln to issue the emancipation proclamation on which he had continued to labor since July. Lincoln read the revised proclamation to his cabinet on September 22, 1862. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that the president was open to criticism of the document itself, but that "he was satisfied it was right . . . his mind was fixed—his decision made" regarding the issuance of the proclamation.

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, stated that the slaves in all areas designated as being in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would "be then, thenceforward, and forever free." The preliminary proclamation also reiterated Lincoln's support for compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization of "persons of African descent." Newspapers in the Confederate states predictably denounced the proclamation. The Memphis (Tenn.) Daily Appeal labeled it unconstitutional and "plainly a proposition to incite domestic insurrection." The Charlotte, North Carolina, Western Democrat carried the briefest of notices of the proclamation and brushed aside its significance. "No one in the South cares for that—Lincoln might as well proclaim to the moon." Some in the North thought the preliminary proclamation more serious, but still ill conceived. The Indiana State Sentinel deemed it a "blunder" and "disastrous" in promoting colonization schemes that would deprive the United States of valuable labor and leave loyal taxpayers to foot the bill. But others were elated by Lincoln's proclamation. The Chicago Tribune reprinted laudatory responses from newspapers across the North. Lincoln retained among his papers a number of letters of support for the proclamation, including one from B. S. Hedrick , who identified himself as a Southerner and formerly a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina. "In my opinion the whole question of the War is reduced to this. Can the power of the United States Gov't either conquer or exterminate slavery?" Hedrick asked.  "If it can, then that should be done, and the sooner the better. If not—we fight with no object."

In anticipation of the January 1, 1863, deadline of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln provided the cabinet on December 30 with the text of the revised Final Emancipation Proclamation, soliciting opinions and necessary alterations. The Final Emancipation Proclamation differed significantly from the previous versions. It designated the areas considered to still be in rebellion, but also those under Union control and thus exempted from the proclamation. The exempted areas included parishes in Louisiana and the city of New Orleans, several cities and counties in Virginia, and all of the counties in what would become the new state of West Virginia. Slaves living in those Union-occupied exempted areas were considered outside of the president's war powers, and would remain enslaved after January 1. Lincoln urged those freed by the proclamation to "abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense" and to "labor faithfully for reasonable wages." Unlike the previous preliminary proclamations, the final proclamation announced that African-American men would "be received into the armed service of the United States." And unlike the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, gone was any mention of compensated emancipation or colonization. Lincoln also incorporated Secretary Chase's suggestion of closing the document with an acknowledgment of the proclamation as an "act of justice" and invoking God and the "judgment of mankind" in supporting the effort.

January 1, 1863, was a " mild and bright day " in Washington. Lincoln had sent the manuscript of the proclamation to the State Department in the morning for copying, and Secretary Seward brought the official version to the White House for Lincoln's signature. Lincoln noticed an error in the document that required amending, which was not accomplished before the annual New Year's reception at the White House, at which Lincoln shook hundreds of hands. Seward and his son Frederick brought the corrected proclamation to the White House later in the day for the president's signature. Frederick Seward recalled External Lincoln saying "I never in my life felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper." Lincoln steadied his tired arm as signed the document, telling witnesses that any sign of a tremor in his handwriting would be interpreted as a mental reservation about the proclamation. And with a signature that was "clear, bold, and firm," Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

With the issuance of the Final Emancipation Proclamation the war for the Union also became a war to free the slaves. As was the case with the preliminary proclamation in September, the issuance of the final proclamation received a mixed reception, especially in the North. Abolitionists greeted the news with jubilation. Eliza Quincy wrote to Mary Lincoln that "the thought of the millions upon millions of human beings whose happiness was to be affected & freedom secured by the words of President Lincoln, was almost overwhelming." Benjamin Rush Plumly could not remember a more "devout ‘Thanksgiving'" as he witnessed the celebration of African Americans in Philadelphia at the news of the proclamation. Hamilton Gray of Kentucky, however, warned Lincoln that Kentuckians loyal to the Union did not accept the Emancipation Proclamation as a military necessity, and there was word that the Kentucky legislature urged the governor to reject the proclamation. The New York Herald considered the proclamation "unnecessary, unwise and ill-timed, impracticable, outside the constitution and full of mischief," noting that Lincoln freed slaves only in areas where he exerted little practical authority. "But let us hope that this proclamation will prove nothing worse than a nullity and a harmless tub to the abolition whale," the Herald's editors opined. Emancipation, even as a war measure, faced continued opposition months later in Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln understood that many of his neighbors supported the Union, but resented fighting for the cause of freedom. "You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then exclusively to save the Union," Lincoln urged his neighbors in a statement he sent to his friend James Conkling to be read at a Union meeting in September. "I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistence to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes."

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

The president still found it necessary in 1864 to explain and defend his actions with regard to emancipation, which remained unpopular with many Northerners. In an April 4, 1864 letter to Albert G. Hodges , editor of the Commonwealth newspaper in Frankfort, Kentucky, Lincoln was careful to distinguish his own opinions from the actions he felt constitutionally justified in taking. "I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel," he began. "And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling." His presidential oath bound him to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," and each step in the process of emancipation was in the interest of preserving the nation, and thus preserving the Constitution. To highlight this, Lincoln used the word "indispensable" six times to distinguish the criteria on which he acted, until emancipation became militarily an "indispensable necessity." In his letter to Hodges, Lincoln also credited a higher power in determining the events of the war. "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me." Lincoln's clear explanation of his presidential evolution on emancipation even won praise from a frequent critic, Horace Greeley. "We are known not to favor his renomination," Greeley's April 29 editorial in the New York Tribune began, but "few men who have ever lived who could have better explained and commended his course and attitude with regard to Slavery than he has done in his late letter to Mr. Hodges of Kentucky."

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

Greeley's editorial demonstrated that Abraham Lincoln's popularity was not universal even within the Republican Party as the 1864 presidential campaign got underway. With the Union military effort stalled on several fronts, with the Democrats' delay in naming a candidate and platform, and with emancipation being interpreted as a primary obstacle to a negotiated peace with the Confederates, some political advisors feared Lincoln's chances for reelection and suggested in August that he consider other options . In response, Lincoln even went so far as to draft instructions for a proposed peace conference, at which "remaining questions" like slavery would be "left for adjustment by peaceful modes." Ultimately Lincoln and his cabinet determined that this course would be, as Lincoln's secretary John G. Nicolay noted , "worse than losing the Presidential contest—it would be ignominiously surrendering it in advance." As it was, Lincoln's concern about reelection prompted him to write a secret memorandum pledging to cooperate with the president-elect to save the union before the March 4, 1865, inauguration, and discussed with Frederick Douglass plans to help slaves in the Confederacy escape while there was still time.

The despair of August turned to hope in September as William T. Sherman's troops captured Atlanta, Georgia, Philip H. Sheridan advanced in the Shenandoah Valley, and the Democrats faced their own divisions in the candidacy of George B. McClellan and a controversial party platform. Lincoln triumphed in the November election. Although the dire plans and pledges made in August could now be abandoned, the process of ending slavery was not complete. As a wartime measure, the status of the Emancipation Proclamation would be in question after the war, and slavery still remained legal in Union-controlled areas in the Confederacy as well as the border slave states in the United States. Only an amendment to the United States Constitution could end slavery irrevocably.

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

The United States Senate had passed a joint resolution on April 8, 1864, calling for an amendment to the Constitution that ended slavery, but the House of Representatives had failed to pass it. Pressure on Republican leadership in the House to pass the resolution intensified, and the resolution finally succeeded on January 31, 1865. The proposed amendment stated that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction," and authorized Congress to enforce the amendment with appropriate legislation. Although not legally required to do so, Lincoln personally signed the joint resolution, signaling the importance he placed on the amendment. He also signed several ceremonial copies of the resolution produced in honor of the occasion. The amendment was sent to the states for ratification on February 1, and Abraham Lincoln's home state of Illinois became the first state to ratify the proposed Thirteenth Amendment.

Abraham Lincoln did not live to see the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Nineteen states had ratified it when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. Lincoln died the following morning. On December 6, 1865, Georgia became the twenty-seventh state to ratify the amendment, achieving the three-fourths of the states necessary to validate the amendment, which Secretary of State William H. Seward did on December 18.

The Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment brought about by the Civil War were important milestones in the long process of ending legal slavery in the United States. Defining the meaning of freedom, however, continued long after the war ended.

Where Are the Documents Now?

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

Many of the key manuscripts that record the progression of the Emancipation Proclamation from the first known draft in July 1862 to the final version of January 1, 1863 survive today.

Abraham Lincoln's handwritten draft Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of July 22, 1862 is part of the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter imagined the scene of President Lincoln first introducing the document to his cabinet in the 1864 painting First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation , which now hangs over the west staircase of the Senate Wing in the United States Capitol. Carpenter worked on the painting at the White House for several months in 1864, and was able to consult with and observe President Lincoln. More information about the painting is available online on the United States Senate website. The painting was reproduced in numerous engravings, including those produced by A.H. Ritchie in 1866 (see LC-DIG-pga-02502 and LC-DIG-pga-03452 ).

Lincoln's handwritten manuscript copy of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation External of September 22, 1862, is held by the New York State Library in Albany, New York.  Abraham Lincoln donated the manuscript for a raffle held at the Albany (N.Y.) Relief Bazaar sponsored by the Albany Army Relief Association in 1864, where it was won by abolitionist Gerrit Smith. The New York State Legislature purchased the manuscript in 1865, and placed it in the New York State Library. More information on the provenance of this document is available online External .

The official engrossed copies of both the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, and the Final Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., as part of Record Group 11, General Records of the U.S. Government. A reproduction of the official engrossed copy of the Final Emancipation Proclamation is included in the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

Several documents containing comments and corrections on the Final Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln solicited from his cabinet members in December 1862 can be found in the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. These include the memoranda provided to President Lincoln by Attorney General Edward Bates , Postmaster General Montgomery Blair , Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase , and Secretary of State William H. Seward .

The handwritten manuscript of the Final Emancipation Proclamation no longer exists. In October 1863, Mary A. Livermore wrote to Abraham Lincoln requesting that he donate the manuscript to the Northwestern Sanitary Fair in Chicago, where it would be sold to raise money for soldiers' aid provided by the Northwestern Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission. Mrs. Livermore hoped that the document ultimately would be donated to the Chicago Historical Society for preservation. Her request was echoed by Lincoln's associates Isaac N. Arnold and Owen Lovejoy . Lincoln thought that his name would be most remembered for having issued the proclamation, and as he explained to the ladies planning the fair, "I had some desire to retain the paper."  "But if it shall contribute to the relief or comfort of the soldiers," he concluded, "that will be better," and he sent the precious manuscript. The manuscript copy of the Final Emancipation Proclamation was purchased at the Northwestern Sanitary Fair by Thomas Bryan, who presented it to the Soldiers' Home in Chicago, rather than the Chicago Historical Society. Unfortunately, the manuscript was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Fortunately, before sending the original manuscript proclamation, Lincoln wisely had the document photographed for posterity, and a lithographic copy is part of the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Surviving photographs of the document show it primarily in Lincoln's own hand. The superscription and ending are in the hand of a clerk, and the printed insertions were cut from the September draft .

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

The Final Emancipation Proclamation has been reproduced numerous times and in many different styles and formats. At the Great Central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia in June 1864, forty-eight limited-edition prints of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Lincoln, Seward, and John G. Nicolay, were offered for ten dollars apiece to raise money for soldiers' aid. At that price, however, not all of these Leland-Boker edition prints sold. The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, and the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress offer many examples of printings of the Emancipation Proclamation produced during and after the Civil War.

On December 25, 1862, Massachusetts historian George Livermore asked Senator Charles Sumner if he might procure the pen that Lincoln would use to sign the Final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Sumner, a well-known abolitionist, put the request to President Lincoln, who agreed. In thanking Sumner for his efforts, Livermore explained his desire for the pen: "No trophy from a battlefield, no sword red with blood, no service of plate with an inscription, as complimentary as the greatest rhetorician could compose, would have been to me half as acceptable as this instrument which will forever be associated with the greatest event of our country and our age." The pen External is now held by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

To read more about Lincoln and Emancipation, consult the "African Americans, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment" section on the Related Resources page of the Abraham Lincoln Papers online presentation.

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essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

Essay on Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was America's most popular President ever. He had played the most important role in putting an end to slavery in America, and in the entire world. Abraham Lincoln's childhood was spent in such poverty that his family had to struggle for a house. His father did not even have enough money to send him to school. Abraham studied from the old books of others. He started earning his wages from his childhood to feed himself.

Once a friend of Abraham Lincoln wanted to know his religious views, he said that he felt good when did something good, and felt bad when he did something bad, that was his religion. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th and greatest President of America. Today it has been more than 200 years since the birth of Abraham Lincoln, but whenever we talk about the Presidents of America, the name of Abraham Lincoln comes on top. Abraham Lincoln almost gave his life to save America from being dismembered in the civil war and for the unity of the country.

About Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809 in a wooden house in Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His father's name was Thomas Lincoln and his mother's name was Nancy Lincoln. His parents came from England and later moved to New Jersey. Abraham Lincoln's family was very poor and he earned his livelihood by farming. Lincoln’s family was evicted from their land due to a land dispute and they were forced to leave the city.

In 1811, their family moved to Knob Creek Farm, they made that land fit for farming and started cultivating it. In 1816, the Abraham family settled in Indiana, where they cleared up forests and started farming. Even today, his form has been kept as a memorial. When Abraham was 9, his mother, Nancy, died. After this, his father married another woman named Sara. Abraham grew up, he wanted employment that yielded more profits through less work. He built a boat and started working as a boatman, which gave him good profits. After this, Abraham Lincoln started working as a manager in a store.

Education and Politics

Abraham Lincoln completed his law studies while working in this store. After some time he became the postmaster in the village, due to which people started knowing him and started respecting him. Then he thought of going into politics, keeping in view the troubles of the local people because at that time slavery was at its peak. 

Abraham Lincoln hated the atrocities on slaves since the beginning and wanted to abolish slavery. With this idea, he entered politics and contested the MLA, but he faced defeat in that election. On the other hand, while contesting elections, he had also left the post master's job, due to which he had a shortage of money. Everything in Abraham Lincoln's life was going against him. There was a time in his life when he was so depressed that he used to stay away from knives because he was afraid that he might kill himself. 

A friend of his at that time boosted his morale and drove him out of depression. Abraham Lincoln contested again with the help of his friend and this time he won the election. After this victory, he was counted amongst the youngest MLAs. He then inspired the youth and they became his ardent followers. Abraham Lincoln was now licensed to become a lawyer and then he met a famous lawyer. Both of them started working together but after some time his friend left him. Abraham Lincoln was also failing in advocacy because he did not take money to fight the cases of the poor. He practised for 20 years.

Struggles and Death

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln contested for the Presidency of the United States of America and eventually achieved the greatest success of his life by becoming the 16th President of the United States. After becoming the 16th President of America on November 6, 1860, Abraham did a lot of important works that have not only national but international importance as well. Abraham Lincoln's greatest achievement was the emergence of America from the Civil War. 

The credit for the abolition of slavery by amending the Constitution of America also goes to Abraham Lincoln. On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife were in Washington DC to watch a play in the Ford’s Theatre, where he was shot by a famous actor John Wilkes Booth and on the next day, on April 15, 1865, Abraham died.

essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

FAQs on Abraham Lincoln Essay

1. Who was Abraham Lincoln?

We know Abraham Lincoln was America's most popular President ever. Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809 in a wooden house in Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His father's name was Thomas Lincoln and his mother's name was Nancy Lincoln. He had played the most important role in ending slavery in America. He was the 16th and greatest President of America. Today it has been over 200 years since the birth of Abraham Lincoln, but whenever we talk about the President of America, the name of Abraham Lincoln comes on top.

2. How Did Abraham Lincoln Die?

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife were in Washington DC to watch a play in Ford’s theatre. There he was shot by a famous actor John Wilkes Booth and on the next day, on 15 April 1865, Abraham died.

5-Paragraph Essay on Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was born on February 12, 1809, and died at the age of 56 on the 4th day of March 1861. Lincoln was the president of the United States for four years, from 1861 to 1865. Lincoln was born in Hardin County in the state of Kentucky in a small cabin. The family had only one room. His parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks were farmers who had a large tract of land that measured 348 acres on which their cabin was situated. His parents were uneducated, however.

Lincoln’s political career began in 1832 when he created a political campaign for a political party known as the Whig Party. This party was based on efforts that sought to improve navigation on the neighboring river. Ten years later, Lincoln married the love of his life, Mary Todd, with whom he had four sons. Unfortunately, one of his four sons did not survive into adulthood. Lincoln’s participation in active national politics took a turn for the better in 1842 when he campaigned and was elected to the US House of Representatives.

While at the House of Representatives, Lincoln accomplished a number of things including accrediting the American-Mexican war to the president, James K. Polk. Lincoln was, however, not a popular figure with the democrats, due to his speeches that tended to go against the beliefs of the Democratic Party.

In 1960, Lincoln’s political star had grown so much such that he was nominated by the Republican Party to become their presidential candidate. His temperate views on the issues of western origin and slavery are said to have significantly contributed to his preference as a Republican candidate.

Throughout the election period, Lincoln did not give any speeches. Instead, he gave the Republican organization charge of any speeches that were required. On the 6th day of November 1860, Lincoln assumed the highest office in the US, when he was elected to the office of the president of the land.

It was during Lincoln’s presidency that the Civil War began. This war began in the year 1861 and ended up consuming a large portion of Lincoln’s time as the president of America. Biographies of Lincoln report that he often found himself very frustrated by the events that were taking place during the war. The conflict eventually ended on the 9th day of April 1865, when Robert Lee decided to surrender in Virginia. The 14th day of April 1865, is a popular day in Lincoln’s presidency because this is the day when, inside Ford’s theater, Lincoln went to watch a play without his bodyguard who apparently was aware of the president’s planned assassination. It happened while Lincoln was watching the funniest part of the play. The president’s seat was on the balcony. This is where John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln directly in his head. The murderer hoped that the noise from the cheers and laughter would swallow up the noise of the gunshot. However, his plan didn’t work.

Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s older son, arrived after midnight the same day. At the same time, Lincoln’s twelve-year-old son Tad was kept away. Besides, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles also arrived at the president’s place. Edwin Stanton insisted that the president’s wife leave the room where Lincoln was kept. For the rest of the night, Stanton ran the country’s government from the house. It was Edwin Stanton to direct the hunt for Lincoln’s murderer and his partners in crime. John Booth did his best in order to elude his capture for almost a fortnight. However, on April 26, 1865, he was finally arrested. Abraham Lincoln passed away on April 15.

Today, the 16th president of the United States is consistently ranked as one of the top three leaders of the US. Two others are Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington. Respect for these three historical figures is evidenced by most polls of political scientists, academic historians, and the citizens of the United States.

How to write a five-paragraph essay about Abraham Lincoln: When it comes to a five-paragraph essay about Abraham Lincoln, it has five standardized structure as follows: the intro, the body part 1, the body part 2, the body part 3, and the concluding section.

In the first paragraph, introduce your thesis statement. Make sure that you choose a contradictory thesis statement. Otherwise, there won’t be anything to support with further arguments. Choose three major arguments about Abraham Lincoln that support your thesis and build three separate paragraphs to describe and support them.

Don’t forget to add your own opinion, but avoid being too emotional in it. For instance, if you decide to write a five-paragraph essay about Abraham Lincoln’s death, don’t get too emotional when you’re blaming the president’s murderer. Instead, make sure to use facts and evidence to support your points of view.

It is important to use transition words since they will help you to show where one part of the essay ends and where the next one starts. The first few words of a new paragraph signal that a new set of thoughts has just begun, and they prepare your readers for a new part of the story.

Don’t get too general. In other words, all the explanatory details and evidence that you use have to be relevant to your project.

If you are assigned a five-paragraph essay on Abraham Lincoln but your knowledge about the president leaves a lot to be desired, you can order a top-quality custom essay at AdvancedWriters.com. Visit AdvancedWriters.com and order a custom written essay now!

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  2. ️ Abraham lincoln essay. FREE Abraham Lincoln's Life Essay. 2019-02-15

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    essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words

  6. Essay on Abraham Lincoln for Students in English

    essay on abraham lincoln in 100 words


  1. Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln, byname Honest Abe, the Rail-Splitter, or the Great Emancipator, (born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S.—died April 15, 1865, Washington, D.C.), 16th president of the United States (1861–65), who preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of enslaved people in the United …

  2. Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation

    This essay describes the development of those documents through various drafts by Lincoln and others and shows both the evolution of Abraham Lincoln’s thinking and his efforts to operate within the constitutional boundaries of the presidency.

  3. Abraham Lincoln Essay for Students in English

    Abraham Lincoln was America's most popular President ever. He had played the most important role in putting an end to slavery in America, and in the entire world. Abraham Lincoln's childhood was spent in such poverty that his family had to struggle for a house.

  4. Abraham Lincoln Essay for Students and Children

    Abraham Lincoln was certainly a legendary American president. Probably everyone believes him to be a global icon of peace. His legacy is a powerful symbol against oppression. Above all, his greatest contribution to mankind is the emancipation of slaves. The forces of evil tried to stop him.

  5. 5-Paragraph Essay on Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was born on February 12, 1809, and died at the age of 56 on the 4th day of March 1861. Lincoln was the president of the United States for four years, from 1861 to 1865. Lincoln was born in Hardin County in the state of Kentucky in a small cabin. The family had only one room.