Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S (1861-1865) who brought the Union to victory in the Civil War. He was a very strong man and he suffered many personal hardships, including the loss of three of his children, and the mental instability of his wife. Even when faced with all of these hardships, he led our United States to victory, although at great personal loss.
Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. His father was Thomas Lincoln and his mother was Nancy Hanks, both were pioneer farmers. The Lincoln family had been in America since 1637 - all were real frontier people. Abraham's family moved quite often during his childhood. His mother died in 1818 when he was nine. In the same year Abraham's father married Sarah Bush Johnston, a kind widow with whom Abraham developed a friendship. Abraham Lincoln grew up to be a tall, gangly boy who showed strong leadership characteristics. When he was eighteen, his family moved to Illinois and he got a job on a cargo ship. He settled in New Salem on the Sangamon River, where he worked at various odd jobs. In 1832 he became Captain of a group of soldiers going to fight in the Black Hawk War. He never saw any action, but the respect of his men made him feel like a leader, which he enjoyed. When the war ended he picked up many odd jobs including postmaster, clerk and surveyor. He also began to study law. .
In 1834 Lincoln was elected to the Illinois state legislature. He would be reelected 6 times. Eight years later he married Mary Todd, the daughter of a Kentucky banker. Soon after, he passed the Bar Exam. In 1847 he was elected to the House of Representatives, and in 1854 he ran for a seat in the senate, but did not get elected. He ran again in 1858 with the newly founded Republican Party. This time he was elected. Because of his political and leadership strengths, Lincoln was nominated for president by the Republican Party in 1860. The Democrats were split because they had two candidates.