Abraham Lincoln event timeline

Abraham Lincoln, a towering figure in American history, is renowned for his leadership during one of the nation's most tumultuous periods. His steadfast dedication to upholding the Union and eradicating slavery established him as a visionary leader.

• February 12, 1809 AD : Abraham Lincoln is born to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln in a one-room log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky (now part of LaRue County).

• 1816 AD : Due to land disputes and economic difficulties, the Lincoln family moves to Indiana.

• 1830 AD : The Lincolns move again, this time to Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln starts working odd jobs and assisting his father in farming.

• 1831 AD : Abraham Lincoln makes a second flatboat trip to New Orleans, which gives him his first exposure to the institution of slavery and the broader South.

• 1832 AD : Lincoln enlists in the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War, but he doesn't see combat. This experience sparks his interest in politics.

• 1834 AD : Abraham Lincoln runs for the Illinois State Legislature as a member of the Whig Party but loses the election.

• 1836 AD : Lincoln is elected to the Illinois State Legislature. During this time, he begins to study law.

• 1837 AD : Lincoln relocates to Springfield, Illinois, and starts practicing law.


• 1842 AD : Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd on 4th November.

• 1846 AD : Lincoln is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig. He serves one term and becomes known for his opposition to the Mexican-American War.

• 1854 AD : The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed, leading to the expansion of slavery into new territories. This event energizes Lincoln's political activism.

• 1856 AD : Lincoln joins the newly formed Republican Party and becomes an influential figure in Illinois politics.

• 1858 AD : Lincoln engages in a series of debates with Democrat Stephen A. Douglas during their campaign for the U.S. Senate. The debates are known as the Lincoln-Douglas debates and revolve around issues of slavery and states' rights.

• 1860 AD : Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th President of the United States. His election triggers the secession of several Southern states, leading to the formation of the Confederate States of America.

• 1861 AD : The Civil War begins in April with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter. Lincoln navigates the complexities of leading the nation through a conflict that threatens its unity.

• 1862 AD : Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation on 1st January, declaring all slaves in Confederate-held territories to be free. This changes the nature of the war, framing it as a struggle for freedom.

• 1863 AD : The Battle of Gettysburg occurs from July 1st to 3rd, yielding a crucial Union triumph. In November, Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address, highlighting equality and democratic principles.

• 1864 AD : Abraham Lincoln is reelected as President, running as the candidate for the National Union Party, a coalition of Republicans and War Democrats.

• April 9, 1865 AD : General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War.

• April 14, 1865 AD : Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

• April 15, 1865 AD : Lincoln dies from his injuries. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President.

Abraham Lincoln's life is marked by his rise from humble beginnings, his deep involvement in politics during a tumultuous period in American history and his leadership during the Civil War. His legacy as a unifier and emancipator continues to be celebrated to this day.