Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
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Born to a family of farmers, Lincoln stood out from an early age—literally! (He was six feet four inches tall.) As sixteenth President of the United States, he guided the nation through the Civil War and saw the abolition of slavery. But Lincoln was tragically shot one night at Ford’s Theater—the first President to be assassinated. Over 100 black-and-white illustrations and maps are included.
his opinions were also very intelligent. Soon people began coming to Lincoln for legal advice. Lincoln didn’t just impress people in town. Some rough farm boys called the Clary’s Grove gang had heard about Lincoln—the young man everyone was praising so much. They wanted to take him down a peg. So they challenged him to a wrestling match. We don’t know whether Lincoln won or lost. But the way he took on the whole gang won the boys over. They became his friends and loyal supporters, too. In
would die out in time. People would come to see that slavery was bad for the country. They would be willing to end it without fighting. To Lincoln, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was a terrible step in the wrong direction. Congress was opening up huge new areas of the country to slavery. So Lincoln returned to politics. The man responsible for the Kansas-Nebraska Act was Senator Stephen Douglas from Illinois. Lincoln and Douglas had been rivals for years—ever since they were in the state legislature
said that he was “naturally antislavery” as far back as he could remember. Eventually, the Lincolns ended up on a tiny farm in Illinois. Even as small children, Abraham and his older sister, Sarah, worked hard. Abraham was tall and strong for his age. By the time he was eight, he could pick up an ax and split wood as well as any man. He also helped with the plowing and harvesting. But not hunting—when he was seven years old, he shot a wild turkey and discovered that he hated killing things.
second term. By the beginning of 1865, the end of the war was finally in sight. On March 25, Grant’s army captured Richmond. Then he cornered the troops of General Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederate army. Lee had no choice. On April 9, he surrendered his army to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia. For all practical purposes, the Civil War was over. Lincoln was not present for the surrender. The two generals met in a courthouse. Grant was careful to treat Lee generously. He knew that was
trouble getting in and sneaking upstairs to the president’s private box. He crept up behind Lincoln and fired his gun. The sound of Booth’s gunshot was drowned out by laughter from the audience. Booth escaped by leaping dramatically to the stage. This was a showy move he had often used when he was acting. Lincoln did not die immediately. He was carried from the theater to a house across the street. The bed there was so small that the tall president didn’t fit on it. He had to be propped up on