Abraham Lincoln: Biography & Childhood

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This paper will summarize the life of the “Greatest American President”, President Abraham Lincoln as recorded in history. Main events as well the background of the President will be given attention especially the reason why he is considered to be the “Greatest American President” and “The Redeemer President”. The information are taken from different sites in the web compiled, compared, and analyzed to arrive at the contents and highlights in the life of Abraham Lincoln, his difficulties, struggles, and especially his achievements. This paper aims to encourage the readers through the life, attitudes, and traits of President Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth United States president, guided his country to the most devastating experience in its national history-the Civil War. Still, it can be said that President Lincoln went through several challenges even from his early age. Truly, we can learn many things from his life’s experiences and especially in his ideology, things that made him really worthy of being called the “Greatest American President”.

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Like any of us, Abraham Lincoln was also an ordinary and typical person but made history considering the fact that he came from a family of low social status. He was able to do this through hard work, persistence, and determination as well as his love for his country and its citizens. Thus, just like Lincoln we can also make history in our own way and honored not just by the present generation but the future generation as well. It may take time and a lot of hard work, but if Lincoln can, so can we!

Lincoln’s Childhood

February 12, 1809 on a Sunday morning, Nancy Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln’s wife had given birth to a baby boy named after his grandfather Abraham in a log cabin Hardin bed of poles on the farm of Nolin Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His father Thomas worked as a farmer and a carpenter. Nancy Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s mother could not even write. Definitely, Abraham grew up literally without having or experiencing a formal education until his early age.

Amazingly, during the year 1815, Abraham Lincoln at a very young age had already learned his ABC’s through the help of his teacher named Zachariah Riney by spending his spare time on a log schoolhouse. At the age of seven their family moved to southern Indiana where he continues school after their migration to Kentucky. At home Abraham heard verses and scriptures read from the family bible. The family of Abraham was all members of Baptist congregation and worshippers but due to the opposition to the slavery they had become separated in the congregation to another church.

Nancy, his mother had died on the 5th day of October due to a disease contracted by drinking poisonous milk from cows known as milk sicknesses. At later year his father married a widow Sarah Bush Johston, she stand as a good mother to them and Abraham loves her as his real mother. She also encourages Abraham to education.

Eagerness for Knowledge

On the following year-1821, Abraham because of his eagerness to gain knowledge, never stops reading books such as Arabian Nights, Robinson Crusoe as well as books of fables or the Aesop’s Fables. He read everything he could; he never stops reading and learning variety of subjects including mathematics, literature and law. Additionally, during his spare time he studied Law and become a successful Lawyer in the year 1836.


After moving to Illinois he start on getting closer with Mary Ann Todd his future wife the daughter of the house he boarded. Mary Ann and Abraham had four sons but Robert Lincoln was the only one who survived into adulthood.

To Serve the People

To become the president of the United States becomes his burning desire. Abraham believes that the government should be a force of good deeds and positive purpose whose desires are to serve the people. That is why he believes that he must have a high position to the government in order for him to be a more influential leader so that he can able to achieve his goal. And because of the eagerness he has in his heart his strong aspiration makes him entered politics. It was August 1, year 1831 when Abraham cast his first ballot. In 1832, at the age of 23 he unsuccessfully ran for Illinois Legislature. After two years he became elected for the lower house 1834, 1836, 1838 until 1841 and won all 4 times for the first of four consecutive terms.

The Civil War and The Gettysburg Address

His perseverance and hard work paid of when he finally became the sixteenth president of the United States. Being the newly elected president of a United States, Abraham Lincoln prioritized saving the original union even if this means the start of the civil war. The civil war arises in 1861 and on the 19th of November 1863, Lincoln delivered a speech on a battlefield that is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The said speech is said to have shaped the United States’ destiny and is known as the “Gettysburg Address”. The speech contains Lincoln’s vision of a nation that is conceived by liberty and equality among its citizens.

In his Inaugural Address, he warned the South saying, “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war, the government will not assail you.” (Bush, 2007). Lincoln added, “You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and depend it” (Bush, 2007).

On September 1862, he announced the Emancipation Proclamation that interprets the war as a form of crusade against slavery. In 1865, slavery was legally ended through the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. It is also in the Gettysburg Address that the famous idea of Lincoln of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” had been made known and he defines the civil war as a struggle against such idea of the government.

Victory and Death

Civil War were lasted for about four long years and this years of struggles were ended in 1865 and cause the death of American people of more than half a million lives however, the victory of the president in uniting the nation does not pleased everyone and one of them is John Wilkes Booth, an actor of the play in Ford Theater. Booth shot President Lincoln that causes the president’s death.


One of the important factor that id to be remembered is that Abraham Lincoln does not came from a wealthy and influential family but rather to a family that belong to the lower class. However, he became the sixteenth president of the United States and there is no doubt that he is worthy of his title as “The Greatest American President”.

Even without that much experience, the succeeding years of civil war had proved that Lincoln is one the most extraordinary leaders that the United States had ever seen. Lincoln had shown good leadership ability, morally and also politically. He saw that the war is a fight against secession and not against slavery. A normal person with a strong desire to serve the people and determined to follow his dreams at whatever cause, that is President Abraham Lincoln. He is also a person who stands for his beliefs although society dictates the opposite, the characteristics of a good and worthy government official and president.

Up to now, the memory of President Lincoln still lives in the heart and memories of his fellow countrymen, guiding every American and the whole world to create a good nation and a better world where everyone is equal regardless of our distinction. President Abraham Lincoln is truly one of a kind and deserves our respect and the honor given to him, even greater. Not only his views and principles are admirable but also how he achieved his dreams and everything the he went through makes him even more worthy of our respect.


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  • January 08, 2008 from http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9382540.
  • Bush, J.W. (No Date). Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved January 08, 2008 from
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/all6.html.
  • Cyber Nation. (2004). The Compelling Story of Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved
  • January 08, 2008 from http://www.cybernation.com/lincoln_bio.html.
  • Norton, R.,J. (2007). An Overview of Abraham Lincoln’s Life. Retrieved January 08,
  • 2008 from http://home.att.net/~rjnorton/Lincoln77.html.
  • Norton, R., J.  (2007). A Brief Biography of Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved January 08,
  • 2008 from http://members.aol.com/RVSNorton/Lincoln23.html.

Cite this page

Abraham Lincoln: Biography & Childhood. (2016, Jun 09). Retrieved from


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