|Born||February 12, 1809 Hardin County, Kentucky|
|Died||April 15, 1865 Washington, DC|
|President of the United States|
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States. He was the first Republican president, and his election triggered the secession of several Southern states. Lincoln led the North during the ensuing Civil War, aiming for the preservation of the Union and later for the abolition of slavery. He was assassinated by a member of a pro-Southern conspiracy six days after the South's main army had capitulated.
Early life and career
Lincoln's parents were farmers who originated from what Lincoln described as "second families" in Virginia. They moved from Kentucky to Indiana when Lincoln was seven years old. He received little formal education, but pursued knowledge on his own.
Lincoln served as a Captain in the Illinois militia during the 1832 Black Hawk War and was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives by 1834, serving four consecutive terms. In 1837 he was admitted to the bar and began working as a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois.
In 1846 Lincoln was elected to the US House of Representatives, serving for two years, after which he returned to practicing law. He was a successful lawyer, arguing cases before the Illinois Supreme court and the United States Supreme Court. He was again drawn into politics by the controversy surrounding the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which he strongly opposed for its supposed spread of slavery. Lincoln was a candidate for the United States Senate as a Whig.
Following the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the Whig party disintegrated, and Lincoln became influential in the formation of the nascent Republican party, placing second for that party's 1856 vice-presidential candidate. In 1858, Lincoln again campaigned for the US Senate, and the campaign led to the Lincoln–Douglas debates, considered among the most famous political debates in American history. Although Lincoln was ultimately unsuccessful, his campaign gained him a national reputation for his stance in opposition to the spread of slavery.