“Whatever you are, be a good one.” - Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America (1861-1865)
One of the most consequential leaders in American history, Abraham Lincoln was elected to be the 16th President of the United States on this day in 1860. A self-educated lawyer, Lincoln was first won public office in 1834 as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing Sangamon County until 1842. Less than a decade later, Lincoln ran a winning campaign for Illinois’ 7th district’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1847. After leaving government and returning to practicing law, Lincoln emerged as a leader in the newly formed Republican party for being an outspoken abolitionist. The nationwide conflict over slavery would eventually fracture the country and lead to several Southern states seceding from the United States and sparking the Civil War in April 1861, shortly after Lincoln was elected president. As Commander in Chief, Lincoln defeated the rebelling Confederate states, maintaining the Union and paving the way for the passing of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the final and unequivocal abolishment of slavery.