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Abraham Lincoln Born 2121809 Birthplace Larue County Ky Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin now Larue County Ky on Feb 12 1809 His family moved to Indiana and then to Illinois and Lincoln gained what education he could along the way While reading law he worked in a store managed a mill surveyed and split rails In 1834 he went to the Illinois legislature as a Whig and became the partys floor leader For the next 20 years he practiced law in Springfield except for a single term 184749 in Congress where he denounced the Mexican War In 1855 he was a candidate for senator and the next year he joined the new Republican Party A leading but unsuccessful candidate for the vice-presidential nomination with Frmont Lincoln gained national attention in 1858 when as Republican candidate for senator from Illinois he engaged in a series of debates with Stephen A Douglas the Democratic candidate He lost the election but continued to prepare the way for the 1860 Republican convention and was rewarded with the presidential nomination on the third ballot He won the election over three opponents From the start Lincoln made clear that unlike Buchanan he believed the national government had the power to crush the rebellion Not an abolitionist he held the slavery issue subordinate to that of preserving the Union but soon perceived that the war could not be brought to a successful conclusion without freeing the slaves His administration was hampered by the incompetence of many Union generals the inexperience of the troops and the harassing political tactics both of the Republican Radicals who favored a hard policy toward the South and the Democratic Copperheads who desired a negotiated peace The Gettysburg Address of Nov 19 1863 marks the high point in the record of American eloquence Lincolns long search for a winning combination finally brought Generals Ulysses S Grant and William T Sherman to the top and their series of
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