Facts

  • Abraham Lincoln was the first US President to be born west of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • He was 51 when he was elected president. He was 56 when he was assassinated.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson tie for the tallest US presidents at 6ft 4in or 1.93cm. The shortest was James Madison at 5ft 4 in or 163 cm.
  • Four US presidents have been assassinated while in office. Abraham Lincoln was the first followed by James Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy.
  • When Abraham was a child his family called him “Abe”
  • As an adult people called him “Honest Abe”.
  • Lincoln was born in Kentucky, a slave state.
  • Lincoln went to school for less than a year. He was mostly self educated.
  • Lincoln tried his luck at entrepreneurship by opening a general store in New Salem, Illinois. It did not have enough business so he and his business partner, William Berry, had to close it.
  • Abraham Lincoln served as postmaster and land surveyor before he became a lawyer.
  • Lincoln served in the Black Hawk War.
  • Lincoln was a very popular young man. The first time he ran for the Illinois legislature he received 277 votes out of 300 casted votes in New Salem. He was not elected because he was not known in other counties.
  • Lincoln served 4 terms in the Illinois legislature.
  • Lincoln came from humble beginnings but worked very hard as a lawyer.
  • Lincoln became a successful lawyer specializing in railroad law in Illinois.
  • His wife, Mary Todd, came from a wealthy slaveholding family from Kentucky. Her family opposed her marriage with Abraham.
  • Mary Todd’s brother, George Todd, half brothers Alexander Todd, David Todd and Samuel Todd fought in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Her brother in law was a general in the Confederate Army.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd had four sons. Only one, Robert Todd Lincoln, the first born, survived to adulthood.
  • Robert Todd Lincoln was the Secretary of War from 1881 to 1885 under President James Garfield and US minister to UK under President Benjamin Harrison.
  • Lincoln, his wife and three of his children are buried in the Lincoln tomb at Oak ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. The only son not buried with them is Robert who rests in the Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Lincoln helped organize the Republican Party in Illinois.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President.
  • All contenders in the Republican presidential elections served in Lincoln’s cabinet.
  • Initially Lincoln supported colonization by which freed African Americans would be transported back to Africa.
  • Thanksgiving was introduced by President Lincoln as a holiday on the third Thursday of November.
  • During Thanksgiving a hand picked turkey is offered to the president’s family as a Thanksgiving meal. The turkey is then pardoned by the president. This tradition may have been started by Tad Lincoln, when he begged his father to spare the turkey’s life.
  • President Lincoln’s second inaugural address had 703 words.
  • President Lincoln’s best known speeches are: House Divided, Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.