Famous former president and icon Abraham Lincoln changed the world with one document: the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Throughout his life and presidency, however, Lincoln also accomplished much more.
Lincoln was born in a log cabin in February of 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky. He had two siblings: his older sister, Sarah, and his younger brother, Thomas Jr., who sadly died at birth. Lincoln’s mother eventually died from tremetol, or milk sickness, when he was nine. A year later, Thomas Sr.—Lincoln's father—remarried a woman named Sarah Bush Johnston.
When Lincoln was 22, he began a life of his own and started to involve himself more and more in the political realm. In 1832, the Black Hawk War broke out. Lincoln was elected captain of war efforts by a group of wartime volunteers.
After the Black Hawk War ended, Lincoln started his political career. He was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834 as a member of the Whig party. His experiences growing up and in the Illinois government led him to look differently at the institution of slavery.
Lincoln quickly rose through political ranks and gained popularity. He eventually became the 16th president of the United States of America on November 6, 1860. He won the election with about 40 percent of the popular vote and 180 of 303 electoral votes.
A year later on April 12, 1861, the Civil War began. It was a bloody conflict between the North and the South. The war lasted for years before ending on May 9, 1865. It was in the midst of this war that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, which freed slaves in Southern states.
On April 14, 1865, Good Friday, just before the Civil War ended, Lincoln was assassinated by well-known actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C.
Though Lincoln didn’t live to see the end of the Civil War, he was an impressive leader and is remembered by many to this day as a hero.