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16th president of the US 1861-65 Born in a log cabin in Hodgenville Ky he moved to Indiana in 1816 and to Illinois in 1830 He worked as a storekeeper rail-splitter postmaster and surveyor then enlisted as a volunteer in the Black Hawk War and became a captain Though largely self-taught he practiced law in Springfield Ill and served in the state legislature 1834-40 He was elected as a Whig to the US House of Representatives 1847-49 As a circuit-riding lawyer from 1849 he became one of the states most successful lawyers noted for his shrewdness common sense and honesty earning the nickname Honest Abe In 1856 he joined the Republican Party which nominated him as its candidate in the 1858 Senate election He debated S Douglas on such issues as slavery though he was not elected the Lincoln-Douglas debates brought him national notice He was the Republican nominee in the 1860 presidential election The slave states did not accept his position opposing slaverys extension into new territories but allowing it to remain in the South his election was soon followed by secession of the Confederate states and the start of the Amer Civil War The war dominated Lincolns administration from choosing competent generals to conciliating such congressional factions as the Radical Republicans He pioneered in the creation of a high command an organization for amassing all the energies and resources of a people for war and he combined statecraft and overall direction of armies with what some have called military genius To unite the North and influence foreign opinion he issued the Emancipation Proclamation 1863 his Gettysburg Address 1863 further ennobled the wars purpose The continuing war affected some Northerners resolve and his reelection was not assured but strategic battle victories turned the tide and he easily defeated G McClellan in 1864 His platform included passage of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery ratified 1865 At his second inaugural with victory in sight he spoke
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