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On March 4, 1861, a Kentucky-born congressman from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the 16th president of the United States. The new commander-in-chief inherited a Union that was divided beyond repair--torn asunder by the decades-long debate over slavery and its future in the American republic. One month later, that division erupted into a civil war. To Abraham Lincoln fell the task of guiding the country through its darkest days. At the time of his death at the hand of an assassin's bullet, the Civil War was coming to a close and the question of slavery had been settled once and for all. Learn more about the fascinating presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

See Lincoln's Full Biography »

At a Glance

Chronology

    • February 12, 1809: Birth
    • November 4, 1842: Married Miss Mary Todd of Kentucky
    • March 1847 - 1849: Illinois member of U.S. House of Representatives
    • 1858: Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    • November 6, 1860: Lincoln elected President of the United States
    • March 4, 1861: Lincoln's first inauguration
    • April 15, 1861: Lincoln calls up 75,000 volunteers to fight for the Union
    • September 22, 1862: Lincoln presents the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
    • November 19, 1863: Lincoln gives the Gettysburg Address
    • November 6, 1864: Lincoln re-elected president
    • April 4, 1865: Lincoln tours Richmond, Virginia
    • April 14, 1865: Lincoln is shot at Ford's Theater
    • April 15, 1865: Lincoln dies of gun shot wounds

Videos

President Lincoln at the National Portrait Gallery Watch the Video »

The history of the Gettysburg Address Watch the Video »

More Videos »

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Abraham Lincoln
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