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                              ABRAHAM LINCOLN BIOGRAPHY

Turn the pages of America’s political history, and you are sure to find one man who clearly outshines all others and manages to attract the attention and interest of all, till date, - Abraham Lincoln! Nicknamed ‘Honest Abe’ or ‘Father Abraham’, Lincoln was, by far, one of the most powerful and greatest Presidents’ that America has ever witnessed. Rising from a modest and humble beginning, it was his sheer determination and honest effort that led him to the nation’s highest office. An astute politician and proficient lawyer, he played a vital role in unification of the states and led from the front for the cause of abolishing slavery from the country, eventually giving people equal rights, irrespective of caste, color or creed. He not only envisioned but actually brought to the forefront a truly democratic government which was led by the concept of ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’. What’s more, Lincoln led the country when it faced its greatest constitutional, military and moral crises. He not only turned up victorious but also was effective in strengthening the national government and modernizing the economy. He was a saviour of the Union and an emancipator for the slaves. However, just as astonishing was his rise to the top-notch position and his eventual governance, his death was equally bewildering as he became the first U.S President ever to be assassinated. Though in his life Abraham Lincoln has been felicitated with no awards and honors, as there did not exist any awards then, he has till date retained a spot in the Top Three Presidents since 1940s. As for the presidential ranking polls conducted since 1948, Lincoln has been rated at the very top in the majority of polls.
Born to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln, in a log-cabin in Hardin County Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln was the second of the three children of the couple. He had an elder sister Sarah and a younger brother Thomas who died in infancy.

Senior Lincoln was a hardworking man. Through his relentless efforts, he became one the richest   men in the country. He was respected and honoured by one and all. However, the blissfulness did     not last long as Thomas Lincoln lost all what he had, which led to the family shifting base to the       present Spencer County, Indiana.

Religiously, the Lincolns attended Separate Baptists church and had opposing views regarding alcohol, dancing and slavery. They completely believed in restrictive moral standards.

In 1818, tragedy struck the family as Nancy Lincoln left for the heavenly abode, after suffering from milk sickness. The death of his mother had devastating effect on young Lincoln who grew alienated from his father. However, the gap was abridged by his stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston whom he grew close to.Billed as lazy and indolent by most due to his dislike for the hard labor associated with frontier life, Lincoln wronged all as he grew up to be responsible and dedicated. He completed all the chores expected of a boy from a household and became an adept axe-man in his work, building rail fences. He also dutifully submitted all his earning to his father.

As far as his education is concerned, Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge. Though both his parents were illiterate and unschooled, they encouraged Lincoln to read and write, especially his stepmom Sarah. It is estimated that all through his life Lincoln did not have not more than 18 months of formal education.Since there was not much scope of formal education in the Indiana wilderness, he walked for miles at stretch to borrow a book. He was an avid reader and had read all the then popular books several times, including the Bible. Thus, the knowledge and wisdom that Lincoln possessed was mostly self-taught.
The family shifted base to Coles County, Illinois in 1831, after fearing milk sickness. At the age of 22, Lincoln set off on his own. His first stop was in a village of New Salem in Sangamon County, where he took up a job of transferring goods by flatboat from New Salem to New Orleans via the Sangamon, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers Abraham Lincolns mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died of milk disease on October 5, 1818. She was buried in a grave which was located just behind the family cabin.
In 1832, Lincoln shifted to New Orleans, where, along with a friend, he bought a small general store. However, since the venture did not turn out to be profitable, he sold his shares and instead, tried his hand at politics. He started campaigning for a seat at the Illinois General Assembly.

Though Lincoln had gained popularity through his skilled storytelling ability, his lack of proper formal education, money and powerful friends lead to his loss. Meanwhile, while taking part in the assembly, Lincoln also served in the Black Hawk War as a captain in the Illinois Militia.

After working as a postmaster and county surveyor, Lincoln’s gave in to his wish to become a lawyer. He started reading law books to equip himself with the knowledge required in the field. Lincoln’s social skills and antics at story-telling were honed during this phase of life.The unification of the states eventually led to the consequence for the name of the country ‘United States’. Though the Civil War was the most implacable of the conflicts in America, it did led to the dominance of a singular name, United States for the country by large.

Lincoln was largely responsible for harbouring the sails of the American political system towards republicanism. At a time when the world focussed on the sanctity of the constitution, Lincoln believed that majority rule had to be restrained with the constitutional checks and limitations.

Other than this, Lincoln during his term of presidency vetoed four bills, the most important one being the Wade-Davis Bill with its harsh program of Reconstruction which the Radicals had passed. He also was behind the creation of the first U.S. income tax on incomes greater than $800. He was also responsible for the creation of system of national banks by the National Banking Act.
John Wilkes Booth, the assassinator of Lincoln, had contact with the Confederate secret service. It is believed that Booth initially planned to abduct Lincoln in exchange for the release of Confederate prisoners. However, enraged by Lincolns speech of giving blacks voting rights and thus equal status in the society, Booth resolved to assassinate him.

The tragic incident occurred during the screening of the play, Our American Cousin at the Ford theatre, which Lincoln went to watch along with First Lady, Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris. His main bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon was not present and John Parker took to the temporary vacant position.

Joining the driver for drinks at the interval, Parker left Lincoln unguarded, a setting which Booth capitalized on. He shot Lincoln at point-blank range on his head mortally wounding him. He then stabbed Major Henry Rathbone and escaped.

Although Lincoln was provided medical help by an Army surgeon, Doctor Charles Leale, who was sitting nearby at the theatre, lack of breath and dropping pulse rate worsened the condition. Lincoln was taken to Peterson House, where he was in coma for nine hours before succumbing to death on April 15, 1865.Meanwhile, Booth was tracked down 10 days later on a farm in Virginia, some 70 miles south of Washington, D.C. He put up a brief fight, finally losing out to Sergeant Boston Corbett who killed him.memorials. People gathered in huge numbers paid their tributes to the great politician ever,Lincoln’s body was wrapped in the flag and escorted to the White House by Union officers. His coffin was first laid in the East Room and later in the Capitol Rotunda from April 19 through April 21.He made his final journey alongside his son in the executive coach for three weeks from the White House to Springfield, Illinois, stopping at various cities across the North for large-scale ugh bands, bonfires, hymn singing or silent reverence.

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