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Key Moments in Abraham Lincoln's Presidency

  • Lincoln is Elected

    Lincoln is Elected
    Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States of America on this day. He became the first Republican president after winning the presidential election. He beat out three other candidates: John C. Breckinridge who was a Southern Democrat, John Bell who was a Constitutional Union candidate, and Stephen Douglas who was a Northern Democrat and also the United States Senator for Illinois. Lincoln’s stance against the spread of slavery was a major topic throughout his campaign.
  • Lincoln’s First Inauguration

    Lincoln’s First Inauguration
    Four months after Lincoln was elected as president his inauguration was held. Since his election seven states had already left the union. These states included: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. In his speech he promised that he would not interfere with slavery where it was already taking place. He also pledged that to suspend all federal government activities that were taking place in hostile environments.
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    Civil War Begins

    Confederates opened fire on Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. For the next 34 hours 50 confederate guns and other weapons launched over 4,000 rounds at Fort Sumter. On April 13th U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter. By April 15th Lincoln issued a proclamation calling 75,000 volunteer soldiers, or state militia.
  • First Federal Income Tax

    First Federal Income Tax
    Lincoln imposes these taxes by signing the Revenue Act. This act was agreed upon between congress and Lincoln because they were in need of money after the Civil War started. The Revenue act imposed a tax of 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800.This law was later repealed in 1871, by 1909 the 16th amendment gave us the income-tax system that we use today.
  • William Wallace Lincoln Dies

    William Wallace Lincoln Dies
    After lying ill in a huge carved rosewood bed, now known as the Lincoln Bed, Lincoln’s third son William Wallace Lincoln, known as Willie, dies at age 11 at 5:00 pm on February 20th at the White House. Lincoln mourned his son’s death. After his death his body was taken downstairs in the White House to the Green Room where Dr. Brown and Dr. Alexander handled the body. On February 24 there was a private funeral held.
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    William Wallace Lincolns death and funeral.

  • Homestead Act is Signed

    Homestead Act is Signed
    Lincoln signed the Homestead Act which opened up government-owned land to small family farmers. There were rules to who could have the land. This act gave 160 acres of land to “any to farm for five years. This person much bead the head of a family, at least 21 years old and they had to build a home on the land. There was an alternative offer. If you did not want to farm for five years you could simply purchase the land. It cost $1.25 per acre.
  • Famous Letter to Horace Greeley

    Famous Letter to Horace Greeley
    Written during the heart of the Civil War, this is one of Abraham Lincoln's most famous letters. Greeley, editor of the influential New York Tribune, had just addressed an editorial to Lincoln called "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," making demands and implying that Lincoln's administration lacked direction and resolve. The letter, which received acclaim in the North, stands as a classic statement of Lincoln's constitutional responsibilities.
  • Lincoln's 1st State of the Union Address

    Lincoln's 1st State of the Union Address
    Lincoln addresses the U.S. Congress as he discusses the Northern war effort. He used the address to present a moderate message concerning his policy towards slavery. Only weeks before, he had issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that slaves in territories still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be free. The measure was not welcomed by everyone in the North–it met with considerable resistance from conservative Democrats who did not want to fight a war to free slaves.
  • West Virginia Statehood Bill

    West Virginia Statehood Bill
    This bill took much effort to become signed. Lincoln struggled with the constitutionality of the act and asked for each member of his cabinet to convey an opinion on the matter in writing. It was a split decision – three cabinet members supported the measure and three opposed it.
  • Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation

    Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation
    Lincoln signs the final Emancipation Proclamation, which ends slavery in the rebelling states. The act signaled an important shift in the Union’s Civil War aims, expanding the goal of the war from reunification to include the eradication of slavery. Slaves in Confederate states which were not back in the Union by then would be free, but slaves in the Border States were not affected.
  • Proclamation for National day of Thanksgiving

    Proclamation for National day of Thanksgiving
    To express gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863. The speech, which was actually written by Secretary of State William Seward, declared that the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    Four months after he Battle of Gettysburg, which was a three day battle where 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured, or missing, Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. It was given at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and wn.
  • Lincoln is Reelected

    Lincoln is Reelected
    By this time the Civil War had been going on its fourth year. Lincoln had not had an easy presidency up to this point, but Lincoln was able to win the election against Democratic candidate George B. McClellan. Most Northern voters endorsed the policies of Lincoln’s second presidency and with his reelection their hope for the Confederacy was gone.
  • 13th Amendment is submitted

    13th Amendment is submitted
    After the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln knew the Congress had to pass something to completely end slavery. On February 1st Lincoln submitted the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. The 13th Amendment was fully passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, however the House did not pass it until January of 1865 with a 119-56 vote.
  • Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

    Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
    Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address on March 4, 1865, during his second inauguration as President of the United States. At a time when victory over the secessionists in the American Civil War was within days and slavery was near an end, Lincoln did not speak of happiness, but of sadness.
  • Lincoln's Last Public Address

    Lincoln's Last Public Address
    Two days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Lincoln addressed a crowd of hundreds assembled outside the White House. But instead of celebrating the Union victory, President Abraham Lincoln spoke of the thorny problem he now confronted: how to rebuild the nation in order to incorporate millions of newly freed slaves, along with their former Confederate owners, whom many Northerners believed should be punished for failure.
  • Lincoln is Assassinated

    Lincoln is Assassinated
    John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. on April 14th. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War. Lincoln died on April 15th at 7:22 AM, this made Lincoln the first president to be assassinated.