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Abraham Lincoln: A Presidential Unit

*** All links on this page updated/active as of February 2009 ***

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th US President, he served from 1861 to 1865, and although elected for a second term, was assassinated before the year was out. He was born 12 Feb 1809 near Hodgenville in Hardin County, KY in a one room log cabin.

Political Party: Republican (1861), National Union (1865)
Years Served: 4 March 1861 Ė 15 Apr 1865
Vice President(s): Hannibal Hamlin, Andrew Johnson
Name of his parents: Thomas Lincoln and Mary Hanks
Wifeís name: Mary Todd
Yearly Salary as President: $25,000.00
Physical Stature: 6 feet, 4 inches
State of Birth: Kentucky

Abraham Lincoln led the country through one of its worst times in its history. The US Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865. The man often called the "greatest" president, taught himself to read and write. As a young man he was a farmer, a rail splitter, and a riverboat operator. He went on to become a famous lawyer in Illinois.

Online Lesson Plans

Please note: There is so much on the Internet for Abraham Lincoln that I have barely scratched the surface with the links that I have included in this unit. Be sure and do your own research, as well as visit your library, for more information.

Fun Activities for Younger Students:

Illustrated Timeline for Young Readers
Abraham Lincoln for Primary Children
Pretzel and Chocolate Icing Log Cabin
Presidential Finger Puppets
Annie's Presidents Day Page
Abraham Lincoln from Enchanted Learning

Fun for All Ages - Science and Math with Lincoln's Coffee

This video answers the question -- "What are the odds that the coffee you are drinking this morning contains some of the same water molecules that Lincoln drank from his cup the morning he was inaugurated?" See the surprising answer and open up discussions about history, math and science!

What Are the Odds?: Lincoln's Coffee

On Line Resources and Units:

Abraham Lincoln On line
Abraham Lincoln Research Site
The History Place Presents Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project
Biography of Abraham Lincoln
Lincolnís Obituary
Abraham Lincolnís Assassination
Abraham Lincolnís Birthplace National Historic Park
Fordís Theater
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Museum
Lincolnís Tomb
Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Petersenís Boarding House - location of Lincolnís death
The Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
American Presidentsí Life Portraits
White House Historical Society

Trivia Questions:

1. What were the names of Abraham Lincolnís four sons? [Answer: Robert Todd Lincoln (1843-1926); Edward Baker Lincoln (1846-50); William Wallace Lincoln (1850-62); Thomas "Tad" Lincoln (1853-71)]

2. What was Lincolnís nickname and how did he come by it? [Answer: ďHonest AbeĒ]

3. What school did Abraham Lincoln attend? [Answer: He had no formal education]

4. What other political positions did Lincoln hold? [Answer: Elected to Illinois State Legislature, 1834; Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1847-49]

Of Note:

Lincoln was the first president to die by assassination.

Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The same play was also running at the McVerick Theatre in Chicago on May 18, 1860, the day Lincoln was nominated for president in that city.

The contents of his pockets on the night of his assassination weren't revealed until February 12, 1976. They contained two pairs of spectacles, a chamois lens cleaner, an ivory and silver pocketknife, a large white Irish linen handkerchief, slightly used, with "A. Lincoln" embroidered in red, a gold quartz watch fob without a watch, a new silk-lined, leather wallet containing a pencil, a Confederate five-dollar bill, and news clippings of unrest in the Confederate army, emancipation in Missouri, the Union party platform of 1864, and an article on the presidency by John Bright.

At 6 foot, 4 inches, Lincoln was the tallest president.

Abe Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died when the family dairy cow ate poisonous mushrooms and she drank the milk.

Lincoln had a wart on his right cheek, a scar on his thumb from an ax accident, and a scar over his right eye from a fight with a gang of thieves.

Mrs. Lincoln's brother, half-brothers, and brothers-in-law fought in the Confederate Army.

Lincoln was the only president to receive a patent, for a device for lifting boats over shoals.

He was the first president to wear a beard.

During the Civil War, telegraph wires were strung to follow the action on the battlefield. But there was no telegraph office in the White House, so Lincoln went across the street to the War Department to get the news.

He was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration. John Wilkes Booth (his assassin) can be seen standing close to Lincoln in the picture.

Lincoln and his wife held seances in the White House. They had great interest in psychic phenomena.

His son, Robert, who was in Washington when his father was killed, was also on the scene when Garfield was shot in 1881 and McKinley was assassinated in 1901.

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be born outside of the original thirteen colonies.

Lincoln loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

When Abraham Lincoln was running for president, he got a letter from 11-year-old Grace Bedell saying that he would look better with a beard. Lincoln took her advice. Did it help him get elected? We donít know. But on his way to Washington, DC for the inauguration, Lincoln stopped off to visit Grace in her hometown of Westfield, NY.

Lincoln married Mary Todd on 4 Nov 1842. They had four sons. Mary had four brothers who fought for the South in the Civil War. Some people thought Mary Todd Lincoln was a spy for the South.


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