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Abraham Lincoln (1804)close

Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Kentucky, and is one of a handful of US Presidents who was truly born of ordinary frontier people. He struggled to attain an education, and eventually spent 8 years as an Illinois state senator. In 1858, he ran against Stephen A. Douglas for US Senator. Although he did not win the election, his debates with Douglas brought him national prominence. In 1860, Lincoln was nominated for the Presidency by the Republican Party. As President, he confronted one of the most difficult times in our nation's history: the Civil War. When Southern states seceded from the Union, Lincoln believed that action to be illegal, and was prepared to use Federal troops to enforce that belief. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves being held in the Confederate States. Lincoln was re-elected in 1864 as the Civil War was ending, but was assassinated in April, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer.

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