Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Hardin County (now LaRue County), Kentucky. He rose from humble origins and less than a year of formal education to become the 16th President of the United States, and one of the great men of American history.
Lincoln was elected President on November 6, 1860, and led the United States through the nation's greatest crisis, the Civil War (1861-1865). He is credited with saving the Union from disintegration and eliminating slavery in America.
Lincoln was a master politician, leading by persuasion and humor. He appointed three of his opponents for the Republican nomination to his cabinet, naming William Seward, Secretary of State; Salmon Chase, Secretary of the Treasury and later nominating him to be chief justice of the Supreme Court, and Edward Bates, who served as Attorney General.
The war’s end was in sight on March 4, 1865 when Lincoln took his second oath of office as President. In his inaugural address he urged merciful treatment for the defeated rebel states. As Lincoln began his second term he worked tirelessly for the speedy “reconstruction” of the war-torn nation.
On the evening of April 14, 1865 Lincoln was assasinated as he watched a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. He was the first American President to be assasinated. Thousands of mourners lined the tracks as his funeral train moved him from Washington to his final resting place in Springfield, Illinois.
Newspaper publisher Horace Greeley said of Lincoln:
“He slowly won his way to eminence and fame doing the work that lay next to himdoing it with all his growing mightdoing it as well as he could, and learning by his failure, when failure was encountered, how to do it better.”
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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Team of Rivals offers fresh insights into Lincoln’s leadership style and his deep understanding of human behavior and motivation. Goodwin makes the case for Lincoln’s political genius by examining his relationships with three men he selected for his cabinet, all of whom were opponents for the Republican nomination in 1860: William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates.
by Godfrey Rathbone Benson, Lord Charnwood
First published in 1916 and reflecting a British perspective on America’s sixteenth president, a thorough biography sheds new light on Lincoln’s life, politics, statesmanship, and impact on American history.
Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths
by Stephen B. Oates
Oates attempts to discern the historical truth from the mythical legend that surrounds Lincoln.
The Words Lincoln Lived By: 52 Timeless Principles to Light Your Path
by Gene Griessman, Abraham Lincoln
The warmth, wisdom, and humor of our 16th president come alive in this collection of inspiring quotations on achievement, responsibility, simplicity, and other timeless values that form the foundation of a meaningful life.
Abe Lincoln Laughing
by P. M. Zall (Editor)
Humorous anecdotes from original sources by and about Abraham Lincoln.
A. Lincoln: His Last 24 Hours
by W. Emerson Reck
This thorough documentary, based on 30 years of research, presents the activities Mr. Lincoln during his last day, including events leading up to his assassination.
American Experience - Abraham and Mary Lincoln - A House Divided
Produced by A&E Biographies
From award-winning film-maker David Grubin, this miniseries weaves together the troubled lives of Abraham Lincoln, a poor dirt-farmer’s son and his wife Mary Todd, a wealthy Southern slave-owner’s daughter. Explores Abraham incidences of depression and Mary’s pychological instabilities, and there effect on Lincoln’s presidency.
Biography - Abraham Lincoln: Preserving the Union
Produced by A&E Biographies
This unforgettable program tells the life story of Abraham Lincoln, from his rustic childhood to his famous debates and the difficult campaign that made him President.
Abraham Lincoln (1930)
Directed by D.W. Griffith
A film about Lincoln made by the great movie director D.W. Griffith, starring Walter Huston. Historical recreations of scenes from Lincoln's life. A landmark film from Hollywood’s early years.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1940)
Directed by John Ford
This Oscar-winning film examines Lincoln’s early years. Henry Fonda portrays young Abe Lincoln.
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Directed by Ken Burns
This moving and highly acclaimed mini series traces the course of the U.S. Civil War from the abolitionist movement through all the major battles to the death of President Lincoln and the beginnings of Reconstruction. Ken Burns at his best.
Video from the 2008 Republican National Convention
The Gettysburg Address
TeacherTube - An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln reads The Gettysburg Address
Every Lincoln Photograph
Every known photograph of Abraham Lincoln shown to period music
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
This video recounts the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln: The Pressure for Emancipation
Produced by the Lincoln Institute, this video discusses issues surrounding the drafting of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Abraham Lincoln and American History
Do Americans care about history or not? Journalist Andrew Ferguson discusses America’s relationship with its own history using the continuing fascination with Abraham Lincoln as a case study.
The Lincoln Institute
Support to scholars studying the life of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Papers
At the Library of Congress