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Who Was President Abraham Lincoln?

Updated on May 8, 2018
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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

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Looking for great YouTube video clips, books, and free worksheets and lapbooks for teaching and/or learning about President Abraham Lincoln? Here you will find my favorite picks we used while studying the individual Presidents of the United States. This is part of a series of lessons I posted on individual Presidents. You can find links to all the lessons at President's Day Unit Study .

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Just the Facts on Our 16th President

Presidential Term: 1861-1865

Political Party: Republican (first Republican president)

Vice Presidents: Hannibal Hamlin (1861-65) & Andrew Johnson (1865)

Birthplace: Kentucky

Occupation: Lawyer

Yearly Salary as President: $25,000

Height: 6'4" (the tallest president)

First Lady: Mary Todd Lincoln

Trivia Bits: Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president, the first president to have a beard, and the first president to be assassinated.


Timeline of Major Events

Jefferson Davis elected president of Confederate States of America
US House unanimously insists on noninterference with slavery in all states
Lincoln installed as president
Fort Sumter, SC is shelled by Confederacy
Civil War/War of Northern Aggression begins
Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states
Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus
First US transcontinental telegram sent
Pony Express ends

Civil War/War of Northern Aggression
Battle Hymn of Republic published
Monitor vs. Merrimack battle
America begins issuing paper money
Homestead Act encourages westward expansion
Central Pacific Railroad construction begins
Battle of Bull Run
First time inheritance tax is levied

Civil War/War of Northern Aggression
Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves only in the states that had seceded
West Virginia admitted as 35th state
Gettysburg Address delivered
Amnesty Proclamation

Civil War/War of Northern Aggression
James Plimpton patents roller skates
Wartime conscription law
General Sherman's "March to the Sea" planned
Lincoln re-elected
Nevada admitted as 36th state

Civil War/War of Northern Aggression
New York Stock Exchange opens near Wall Street
13th Amendment passed, abolishing slavery
Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse
Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth

Info Credit: The Buck Stops Here by Alice Provensen

Lincoln's Inauguration


Lincoln's inauguration was the first to be photographed. John Wilkes Booth, who would later assassinate Lincoln, can actually be seen in the inaugural photograph close to Lincoln as he delivers his speech.

Lincoln's Moderate Stance on Slavery


Lincoln was nominated due to his moderate stance on slavery, which is depicted as the main issue/rail in this anti-Republican political cartoon. In the presidential election, Lincoln did not receive even a single vote in 10 of the 15 Southern states.

Electoral votes for Lincoln (the salmon colored states)


Lincoln won only the electoral votes in the Northeast and the West (the salmon colored states above).

The War Begins


As soon as Lincoln was declared President of the United States, Southern states began to secede forming a new country, the Confederate States of America. Lincoln spent his presidency forcing the Southern states back into the Union using any means possible. This would be referred to as "The Civil War" in modern textbooks. Interestingly, all the men on the Mary Todd Lincoln side of the family fought with the Confederate army.

The Emancipation Proclamation


To ensure that neither Great Britain nor France (both of whom were in the midst of recent battles over slavery in their own countries) would not come to the aid of the Confederate States of America, Lincoln used the Emancipation Proclamation to push the issue of slavery to the forefront of the war. The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the states that seceded.

Reconstruction Plans


Toward the end of the war, Lincoln made reconstruction plans. He encouraged gracious pardons to most Southerners and short-term military control of Southern states until needed. After Lincoln's death, government leaders decided upon harsher punishments for the leaders of the Southern armies.

The Assassination of Lincoln


On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and a member of the Confederate secret service assassinated Lincoln at the Ford Theater. Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. Robert, Lincoln's oldest son, was in Washington D.C. when his father was assassinated. Robert Lincoln was also near President Garfield was he was shot in 1881, and Robert Lincoln was near President McKinley as he was assassinated in 1901.

The Lincoln Memorial


The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a popular spot for making famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's famous I Have a Dream speech in 1963.

Our Favorite Children's Books on Abraham Lincoln

Our Favorite Picture Book on Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln's Hat (Step into Reading)
Abe Lincoln's Hat (Step into Reading)
This is a cute easy reader book that focuses on Lincoln and his hat. It is fairly benign making it ideal for preschoolers through early elementary aged children, though even my older children enjoy it. It brings out how Lincoln used humor...and his hat in many situations.

More Good Picture Book Options

  • "Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books" by Kay Winters is a nice story book that discusses how Lincoln, even from an early age, was always trying to read books and learn more...sometimes to the detriment of his work. It has illustrations that appeal even to younger children.
  • "Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers" by Karen B. Winnick is a true story about a young girl who encouraged Lincoln to grow a beard as he ran for president. On his way to his inauguration, he stopped by her home to meet her. This presents Lincoln as a humble and gracious man.
  • "Abraham Lincoln" by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire is a long picture book that is probably best read over a series of days rather than in one sitting. It covers Lincoln's entire life and has plenty of interesting facts about him that bring him to life.
  • Also look for "Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)" by Deborah Hopkinson, "Abe's Honest Words" by Doreen Rappaport, "The Story of Abraham Lincoln" Board book by Patricia A. Pingry, "The Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln illustrated by Michael McCurdy, "My Best Friend, Abe Lincoln: A Tale of Two Boys From Indiana" by Robert L Bloch, and "Looking at Lincoln" by Maira Kalman. An interesting longer picture book is "Lincoln and His Boys" by Rosemary Wells, which is 96 pages and focuses on Lincoln's relationship with his sons. It is a fictionalized account but does a good job of drawing out Lincoln's fatherly role.

Our Favorite Chapter Book on Abraham Lincoln

Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
This is 112 pages and is an easy-to-read biography covering the life of Lincoln. It includes black & white illustrations on every spread. The author does a great job at bringing out interesting facts so that all my children enjoyed reading this. It could be read alone, but we read it together as a family in 2 sittings since all of my children wanted to go through this book.

Good Book for Activity Ideas

If you would like additional activities to do with your study on Abraham Lincoln, this has good activity ideas in addition to interesting facts.

Abraham Lincoln for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities (For Kids series)
Abraham Lincoln for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities (For Kids series)
This covers Lincoln's entire life and includes fun activities for children to do as they read the book. The author pulls out some of the most interesting aspects of Lincoln's life, making it easy for children to relate to him. It is best for upper elementary and middle school aged children.

Our Favorite Free Worksheets, Lapbooks, Recipes & Trivia on Lincoln

We found these to be helpful when creating a notebook, lapbook, and cooking project on President Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln for Teachers offers links to free worksheets, book suggestions, general information and trivia, interactive computer games, and more related to president Lincoln

Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books Lapbook offers free lapbook pages & activity ideas for Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters.

Meet Addy Lapbook offers free lapbook pages & activity ideas for Meet Addy by Connie Porter.

Presidents Lapbook ( provides free lapbook pages for each of the Presidents of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln's Favorite Courting Cake & Vanilla Almond Cake Recipes provides recipe for two of Lincoln's favorite cakes and also includes a a description of some of his other favorite dishes both as a child and as president.

Presidential Statistics and Points of Interest includes an overview of Abraham Lincoln's life and some fun points of interest.

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Video Clips Giving an Overview of the Life and Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

Good Overview of Abraham Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln's Tomb

Mrs. Lincoln requested that her family be buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Three years after Abraham Lincoln passed away, his body and the bodies of 3 of his 4 sons were laid to rest in the crypt. Three years later the monument was completed. Lincoln's body was moved various times for various reasons, including hiding it from Chicago criminals who were trying to steal Lincoln's body to hold it for ransom. Mary Todd Lincoln is also buried in the tomb with her husband. In 1960, Lincoln's mausoleum was designated as one of the first National Historic Landmarks, and it was one of the first sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Where is Abraham Lincoln buried?

Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois:
Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument, Springfield, IL 62702, USA

get directions

© 2012 Shannon

What first comes to mind when you think of Abraham Lincoln? - Or just let me know you dropped by. I LOVE getting feedback from you!

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