Today we celebrate the life of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President of the United States. He’s a man whose signature look and steady leadership during one of our nation’s most pivotal times makes him a legend un-paralleled.
He was born on this date in 1809, and came from a living situation that could be described as “meager” at best. He was the son of two farmers, who lost all their property in court cases when Abe was just a boy.
His mother died when he was nine from “milk sickness,” a condition that occurred when cows ate White Snake Root. The cow isn’t directly affected by this, but if a person drinks the milk from an effected cow, they get very sick and often times die.
Shortly after, Abe’s father remarried and his new stepmother treated him every bit like a son as if he was her own.
Lots of moving around followed in the years, but Abe thrived on reading, soon mastering everything subject he came across.
He grew up amid anti-slavery beliefs, with his parent’s believing so firmly, that they left the Baptist church over it.
Lincoln eventually ventured out on his own and dabbled in business for a bit. His first entrance into politics came with a run for the Illinois General Assembly. After that he moved into Congress, and served in the House of Representatives where he was vehemently against the Mexican-American War. There, he was largely unknown, but often times spoke out against President Polk’s action in the war.
In fact, it was his harsh words that eventually got the best of him, causing damage to his career that was significant enough for him to not seek re-election.
So he went back to Illinois and worked as a lawyer. Over twenty years later, after an immensely successful legal career, the Kansas Nebraska Act brought Lincoln back into the political world.
He was strongly opposed to the country being divided over the issue of slavery, and his powerful rhetoric made him an instant superstar of the newly forming Republican Party.
The election of 1860 was one that he wasn’t really expecting to be a part of. He was actually chosen because out of all the candidates vying for the republican ticket, he was the one with the deepest western roots, most moderate views, and fewest enemies in the party. They thought that he had the best chance at winning, and they were right.
While seven southern states made very clear their intention to secede from the Union if Lincoln took office, they actually did just that before he took office. So from the very second Lincoln took office he had to deal with the growing possibility of a civil war.
We all know how the rest of his Presidency turned out; however, few know the little facts about the beginning of his life.
Abe Lincoln fought his way up the ladder in life. He experienced failure in business and politics at first, and yet he carried on to find something more suited for him. He was a hard worker and he stood up for what he believed in. His views changes with experience and his actions matured to be selfless. Happy Birthday Abe!