Lincoln, Abraham

b. February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky; d. April 15, 1865, in Washington, D.C. Lincoln was a member of the Illinois legislature between 1834 and 1842. During his first term in 1834, John T. Stuart, a friend of Lincoln’s and a fellow legislator, advised him to study law. On September 19, 1836, Lincoln received his license to practice law. He settled in Springfield, Illinois, in 1837. From April 12, 1837, to April 14, 1841, Lincoln was Stuart’s law partner. On April 14, 1841, he joined in a partnership with Stephen T. Logan until December 1844. Lincoln formed his third and final partnership with William H. Herndon soon after Herndon’s admittance to the bar on December 9, 1844. Lincoln married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842, in Springfield, Illinois. Between 1843 and 1853, they had four sons, Robert, Edward, William, and Thomas. Of their four sons, only Robert Todd Lincoln lived to adulthood. In 1846, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and served from December 6, 1847, until March 3, 1849. Lincoln unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate in 1854. In 1858, Lincoln was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate. His opponent was the Democratic incumbent, Stephen A. Douglas, and between August 21 and October 15, 1858, they engaged in a series of seven debates throughout Illinois. Although Lincoln lost the 1858 election to Douglas, their debates brought him national recognition and set the stage for his 1860 Republican nomination for the presidency. Lincoln was elected president in November 1860, and again in 1864. He left Springfield on February 11, 1861, and took office as President of the United States on March 4, 1861. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth and died the next day.
David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995); William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, 3 vols. (Chicago: Belford, Clarke, and Company, 1889; One-volume reprint edited by Paul Angle, Cleveland, OH: World Publishing Company, 1965; Reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1983); Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982); Stephen B. Oates, With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Harper and Row, 1977); Benjamin P. Thomas, Abraham Lincoln (New York: Knopf, 1952).