By: Alena Ramos, staff writer
Abraham Lincoln was our sixteenth president he served our great country from March 4, 1861 until his tragic death caused by an assassin on April 15, 1865. This great man was six foot four inches and a little more with his signature top hat. He was born on February 12, 1809 and raised in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He lived in a one room log cabin with his mother, Nancy his sister, Sarah and his brother, Thomas. His father was tragically killed by Indians when Lincoln was just a little boy. His family soon moved north across the Ohio River and made a new start. A few years later Lincoln’s mother passed , because of milk sickness in the year of 1818 where this was very common. After that his older sister took care of him until his step- father remarried in 1819. Soon after Sarah passed away in her twenties while giving birth to her stillborn son. Lincoln became extremely close to his step-mother, Sarah a widow who already had three children. He even referred her to as “Mother.” As a pre-teen he hated to have to go and work he was considered a very lazy young man. As he grew up in his teens he worked harder and took more responsibilities as of doing his chores and building rail fences.
In 1830, he became afraid of the milk sickness that was along the Ohio River the Lincoln family moved west. They settled in Illinois a free state for every race, a non-slave state. Once Lincoln was twenty-two he seeked a better life so he left home and went to live on his own. He moved to New Salem where he met his first love, Ann. They were both in love with each other , but not formally engaged yet. Before they could get engaged she passed away at the age of 22 in 1835. Then in 1840, he got engaged to Mary a women from a wealthy slave owning family. They met in Springfield on December 1839 and got married the following December. They had four children: Edward who died February 1,1850 of tuberculosis. Willie who was born December 21,1850 and died on February 20,1862. Tad who was born April 4,1853, who died of heart failure at the age of 18 on July 16,1871. Robert born in 1843 was the only child of Lincoln’s who lived to adulthood and had children. After all of this his wife Mary struggled with the stress of losing her husband and the lose of her children. Robert committed her to a mental hospital in 1875. Lincoln then fell into a melancholy, a condition known as a clinical depression.
Lincoln soon went into congress and noticed that he was very good at putting up a great argument. He then became a lawyer and was known to a very good one. By the 1850’s Slavery was still legal in the southern United States, but outlawed in the northern states. Lincoln had always disapproved of slavery, and the spread of it to the new U.S territory in the west. He soon returned to politics to try and get people to say no to slavery. In his speeches he would talk about the Founding Fathers, and the equality of all men as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. October 16,1854, in his Peoria Speech, he declared his disapproval to slavery. He repeated this many times during his presidency, speaking his his Kentucky accent, with his very strong and powerful voice. On November 6,1860, he was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating his major opponent, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. He won entirely on the strength of his support in the North and West, with no ballots were cast for him in the ten of the 15 Southern slave states. Without those votes he still won. His first inaugural address was on March 4,1861. On March 4,1865, he delivered his second inaugural address.
On April 14, Lincoln attended a play called Our American Cousin without his main bodyguard, General Grant who left with his wife to travel to Philadelphia. Lincoln had another bodyguard, John Parker who left during intermission for drinks. The now unguarded President sat in his state box. At about 10:13pm, Booth crept up behind Lincoln and shot him point blank in the head. Major Henry Rathbone soon grappled with Booth, but Booth stabbed him and somehow got away. After 10 days of running Booth was finally found on a farm in Virginia. After a fight with the Union Troops, Booth was killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett on April 26.
Abraham Lincoln was a great president and an even greater man. By celebrating his birthday it gives us a chance to remember all of the great things he did for our old great country. I would love to say Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln and thank you for all you once did for this country.