Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 to a farmer and carpenter Thomas Lincoln and his wife Nancy Lincoln in a small cabin at Hardin County, Kentucky. His mother died when he was 9 years old, and his father took another wife. His stepmother and he got along very well that he called her “mother”. However, his relationship with his father began to grow apart from time to time. He never had any formal education when he was young, so he taught himself to read and write. He was an avid reader.
He began courting a girl named Ann Rutledge when he was 26, but she died soon from typhoid fever. In 1840, he met a girl named Mary Todd, a wealthy woman, and married her on November 4, 1842. They had 4 children, among those only one child lived passed the age of 18, and the latter became secretary of states.
He began his career in politics in 1832, when he campaigned for the Illinois General Assembly. He then would go to serve in the post of postmaster and county surveyor. In 1834, he won election for state legislature and would serve there for four successive terms. In 1846, he was elected to U.S House of Representatives for a term of two years. After that, he would work as a lawyer for ten years from 1849 to 1859, and he gained more fame for he had many cases decided on his favor. During that time, he had been teaching himself by reading many law books especially the well-known Commentaries on Law of England. In 1860, he was nominated as the Republican candidate for presidency and would go to win the election on November 6 against another three candidates from Democratic, Southern Democratic, and Whig.
His policy of Abolitionism which main aim was to abolish slavery made the agriculture-based Southern States to secede one by one from the Federation. The civil war broke out the next year and continued to last until 1865 when the Union emerged as winner but with high cost for both sides. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which feed 3.1 million among the 4 million slaves of the Federation and would go to free more when the Union troops succeeded in occupying any Confederate territories. He was re-elected in 1864 with overwhelming victory and swore in for his 2nd term on March 4, 1865.
Shortly after that on April 14, while attending a play, Our American Cousin, at Ford’s Theatre, he was mortally wounded in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth, a well-known actor and a Confederate spy. He died the next morning at 7:22 am at Peterson House which is located just opposite to the theatre. His remain was buried at Springfield, Illinois which would later accompany by his wife and his 3 sons.
To abolitionists, he was viewed as a champion for “human liberty”. Furthermore, he is regarded by the public and historians in numerous polls as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history, usually in the top three, along with George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt. As of 2005, Lincoln’s Birthday is a legal holiday in 10 states. The United States Postal Service honors him with a 4¢ postage stamp and there is also The U.S. Lincoln $5 bill and the Lincoln cent. Last but not least, his name and image appear in numerous places, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park at Kentucky, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana, Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, and famously on Mount Rushmore. There is well-known fact about him: he is the tallest president of the U.S with the height of 6’4’’ = 1.95m.
You also can read this article in Khmer: ជិវីតនៃលោក អាប្រាហាម លីនខូន