Abraham Lincoln; Life Before the Presidency

  • Beinging of their Family

    Thomas marries Nancy Hanks. A daughter, Sarah, is born eight months later.
  • Farm in Sinking Spring

    Thomas buys a farm called "Sinking Spring" near Hodgenville, Kentucky.
  • Birth

    Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 the second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln (née Hanks), in a one-room log cabin in Nolin Creek, Kentucky.
  • Lincoln family moves

    In spring, the Lincoln family moves to a 230-acre farm on Knob Creek ten miles from Sinking Spring.
  • Brother Thomas is born and past

    A brother, Thomas, is born but dies in infancy.
  • Attends School

    Young Abraham attends a log school house.
  • The Move to Indiana

    The Lincoln family was forced to move to Indiana do to their anit-slavery beliefs.
  • Never hunts again.

    Abraham, age 7, shoots a wild turkey but suffers great remorse and never hunts game again.
  • Nancy Hanks Lincoln's Death

    When Lincoln was nine, his mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln; died of milk sickness at the Little Pigeon Creek settlement. Her nine-year old son Abraham assisted his father in the making of her coffin by whittling the wooden pegs that held the planks together.The eleven-year-old Sarah cared for Abraham until their father remarried the next year.
  • Thomas Lincoln Remarries

    Thomas Lincoln remarries a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston, and becomes stepfather to her three children.Though Lincoln was affectionate towards his stepmother, he had not very good relations with his father.
  • Teen Years

    At the age of 15 Abrahama Licoln is nicknamed 'Abe' by his friends, does some plowing, planting and work for neighbors who needed help. He attends school in the fall and winter. He begans to borrow books from school, friends, and the library to read whenever possible.
  • Sarah Lincoln's Death

    Sarah Lincoln Grigsby dies while giving birth to her stillborn boy. Abraham, blamed the death of his sister on the failure of the Grigsbys to send for a doctor. She is buried in a small cemetery next to the Little Pigeon Baptist Church, a Primitive Baptist Church.
  • Abraham observes his first slave auction.

    At age 19, Abraham and Allen Gentry take a flatboat containing a cargo of farm produce to New Orleans. During the trip they fight off a robbery attack by seven black men. At New Orleans, Abraham observes a slave auction for the first time.
  • 200-Mile Journey to Illinois.

    Abraham and his family begin a 200-mile journey to Illinois where they settled on uncleared land along the Sangamon River, near Decatur. Abraham makes his first-ever political speech in favor of improving navigation on the Sangamon River.
  • Abraham settles in New Salem, Illinois,

    Abraham makes a second flatboat trip to New Orleans. His father moves again, but Abe doesn't go and instead settles in New Salem, Illinois, where he works as a clerk in the village store and sleeps in the back. During this year, he wrestles a man named Jack Armstrong to a draw, learns basic math, reads Shakespeare and Robert Burns and also participates in a local debating society.
  • The Black Hawk War breaks out

    Abraham Lincoln becomes a candidate for the Illinois General Assembly. The Black Hawk War breaks out and Abrham doesn’t think second about enlisting and is elected captain of his rifle company. He re-enlists as a private after his company is disbanded. He serves a total of three months but does not fight in a battle.
  • When on door shuts, another opens

    Abrham loses the election for General Assembly. The village store he worked in goes out of business. Lincoln and partner, William Berry, purchase another village store in New Salem but by the next year the new store fails, leaving Abraham badly in debt. Lincoln is then appointed Postmaster of New Salem. In autumn, Lincoln is appointed Deputy County Surveyor.
  • First Glance at Law

    At the age of 24, Abraham Lincoln is elected to the Illinois General Assembly as a member of the Whig Party. He begins to study law. In December, he first meets Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat.
  • Debt Increase.

    Abraham’s former store partner William F. Berry dies, increasing Lincoln's debt to $1,000.
  • Lost of his First Love

    Ann Rutledge dies from fever at age 22. Many of the facts of her life are lost to history, but some historians believe that she was the first love of Abraham Lincoln but others say the two were at least best friends. The death of Ann left Lincoln severely depressed.
  • Leader of the Whig Party.

    Lincoln is re-elected to the Illinois General Assembly and by now is a leader of the Whig Party.
  • Lincoln Moves Illinois Capital.

    Lincoln helps to get the Illinois state capital moved from Vandalia to Springfield.
  • Becomes Law partner

    Abraham Lincoln leaves New Salem and settles in Springfield. He then becomes a law partner of John T. Stuart. In the summer, Lincoln proposes marriage to Mary Owens, but is turned down and the courtship ends.
  • Won First Murder Case

    Lincoln helps to successfully defend Henry Truett in a famous murder case and wins,
  • Becomes Whig Floor Leader.

    Abraham is re-elected to the Illinois General Assembly, becoming Whig Floor Leader.
  • 8th Judicial Circuit.

    Abraham travels through nine counties in central and eastern Illinois as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit.
  • Meets Mary Todd

    Abraham is admitted to practice in the United States Circuit Court. Mary moved to Springfield so she could live with her sister, Elizabeth Todd Edwards. Mary was the cousin of John Todd Stuart, Lincoln's first law partner. Mary and Abe moved in the same social circle and met at a dance at her sister's home in Springfield, Illinois. They had an "on-again, off-again courtship."
  • Supreme Court

    Lincoln argues his first case before the Illinois Supreme Court
  • Engagement to Mary Todd

    Abraham is re-elected to the Illinois General Assembly. In autumn, he becomes engaged to Mary Todd.
  • Breaks off Engagement & Falls into Sorrow

    Abraham breaks off the engagement with Mary Todd. He has another episode of depression.
  • Steamboat to Kentucky

    Abraham forms a new law partnership with Stephen T. Logan. In August, Abe makes a trip by steamboat to Kentucky and observes twelve slaves chained together.
  • Resumes Courtship with Mary Todd

    Lincoln does not seek re-election to the legislature. In the summer, he resumes his courtship with Mary Todd. On November 4th, Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd in Springfield.
  • Robert Todd Lincoln is born

    Lincoln is unsuccessful in his try for the Whig nomination for U.S. Congress. On August 1st, his first child, Robert Todd Lincoln, is born.
  • Moves & sets up own practice

    In May, the Lincoln family moves into a house in Springfield, Illinois, bought for $1,500. Abe campaigns for Henry Clay in the presidential election. In December, he dissolves his law partnership with Logan, then sets up his own practice.
  • Edward Baker Lincoln is born.

    Edward Baker Lincoln is born.
    Edward Baker "Eddie" Lincoln was the second son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He was named after Lincoln's friend Edward Dickinson Baker. His mother spelled his name "Eddie", while his father spelled it "Eddy."
  • U.S. Congress

    Abe is nominated to be the Whig candidate for U.S. Congress,
  • U.S. House of Representatives.

    Abraham Lincoln is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Boarding House

    U.S. Representative Lincoln moves into a boarding house in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons.
  • Thirtieth Congress

    Abraham takes his seat when the Thirtieth Congress convenes
  • Abe spots Resolutions

    Lincoln presents resolutions questioning President Polk about U.S. hostilities with Mexico.
  • Speech Regarding Mexico

    Rep. Lincoln gives a speech on floor of the House against President Polk's war policy regarding Mexico
  • Abraham attends the national Whig convention

    Abraham attends the national Whig convention, supporting General Zachary Taylor as the nominee for president. He campaigns for Taylor in Maryland and in Boston, Massachusetts, then in Illinois.
  • Appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court

    Lincoln makes an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Illinois statute of limitations, but is unsuccessful.
  • The Only President ever Granted a Patent

    Abraham returns to Springfield and leaves politics to practice law. On May 22nd, Abraham Lincoln is granted U.S. Patent No. 6,469
  • Edward dies after a two-month illness

    At the age of only three-year-old, Edward dies after a two-month illness. Lincoln resumes his travels in the 8th Judicial Circuit covering over 400 miles in 14 counties in Illinois. "Honest Abe," as he is called, earns a reputation as an outstanding lawyer.
  • William Wallace Lincoln is born

    On December 21st, another son, William Wallace Lincoln (Willie) is born.
  • Lincoln's father dies.

    Abraham Lincoln's father, Thomas Lincoln, was born on January 6, 1778 in Rockingham County, Virginia, and died on January 17, 1851 in Coles County, Illinois do to old age
  • The 4th son, Thomas Lincoln is born.

    Thomas was the Lincon's youngest child. Named after Lincoln's father. Tad's head was rather large when he was born large. Abe nicknamed him "Tad," short for "Tadpole," because he thought the large head and small body looked rather like a tadpole. Tad grew up to be a quite handful. Tad was what would today be called developmentally disabled, although his mother referred to him as "troublesome sunshine". After his older brother's death,he calmed down somewhat and became especially close to Abraham
  • Opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

    Lincoln re-enters politics, opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He is elected to the Illinois legislature but declines the seat, hoping instead to become a U.S. Senator (appointed by the legislature).
  • Loses bid for Senate seat

    Lincoln does not get chosen by the Illinois legislature to be U.S. Senator
  • Lincoln helps organize the new Republican Party of Illinois.

    Lincoln helps organize the new Republican Party of Illinois. At the first Republican convention, Lincoln gets 110 votes for the vice-presidential nomination, thereby gaining national attention. He campaigns in Illinois for the Republican presidential candidate, John C. Frémont.
  • Speech on the Dred Scott Decision

    Speech on the Dred Scott DecisionWhile in Springfield, Lincoln speaks against the Dred Scott Decision.
  • Lincoln wins acquittal

    Lincoln wins acquittal in a murder trial by using an almanac regarding the height of the moon to discredit a key witness.
  • Abraham is nominated to be the Republican Senator

    Abraham is nominated to be the Republican Senator from Illinois, opposing Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. He gives his "House Divided" speech at the state convention in Springfield. He also engages Douglas in seven separate debates, attracting big audiences at each one.
  • Abraham Loses

    The Illinois legislature chooses Douglas for the U.S. Senate over Lincoln by a vote of 54 to 46. In autumn, Lincoln makes his last trip through the 8th Judicial Circuit.
  • Short Autobiography

    Short Autobiography - 1859Abraham Licoln writes his first short autobiography.
  • Speech on Slavery

    Lincoln delivers an impassioned speech on slavery in New Haven, Connecticut. Also, the "Lincoln-Douglas Debates" are published.
  • Nominated for President

    Abraham Lincoln is nominated to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States. He opposes Northern Democrat, Stephen A. Douglas, and Southern Democrat, John C. Breckinridge.
  • Longer Auto-Bio

    Longer Auto-BioAbraham Lincoln writes a longer autobiography.
  • 16th President of America

    Abraham Lincoln is elected as 16th President of the United States, and is the first Republican. He receives 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular