10 Interesting Facts About Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, seated and holding his spectacles and a pencil in 1865
Abraham Lincoln, 1865.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He played a pivotal role in the American Civil War and is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in American history. Lincoln is one of the most fascinating figures in American history, and there are plenty of stories and anecdotes to be told about him. Today, we will explore 10 interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln that you may not know.

Abraham Lincoln Issued a Proclamation to End Slavery

The Emancipation Proclamation original document.
The original Emancipation Proclamation document.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared that all slaves in the Confederate States of America were free. The Emancipation Proclamation was a turning point in the American Civil War. It helped to unite the North and South, and it encouraged African Americans to join the Union army. The proclamation also helped to pave the way for the abolition of slavery in the United States. The Emancipation Proclamation was an important step forward for the civil rights of all Americans. It is a reminder of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and it is a symbol of hope for a better future.

Abraham Lincoln Was Really Tall

Abraham Lincoln photograph standing in a full length portrait in 1860
Full-length portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 1860.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was quite tall for his time? He was 6 foot 4 inches tall (1.93m), which was very tall for the 1800s. In fact, Lincoln was so tall that his political opponents often made fun of him. Lincoln’s height may have been due to a condition called Marfan syndrome; Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissues in the body. People with Marfan syndrome are often tall and thin, and they have long arms, legs, and fingers. Abraham Lincoln was a tall man, and he had a large shoe size. His shoe size was reportedly size 14!

Abraham Lincoln was a Skilled Wrestler

Illustration of Abraham Lincoln standing after defeating country wrestling champion Jack Armstrong in a wrestling match, 1830.
Illustration of Abraham Lincoln standing after defeating country wrestling champion Jack Armstrong in a wrestling match, 1830.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Lincoln spent his youth working on his father’s farm where he also developed a passion for wrestling. Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler, and he once even defeated the heavyweight champion of Illinois. Lincoln’s size made him an intimidating opponent. He had long legs that helped him to seamlessly hop into the ring and gain victory over his opponents with ease, usually by submission or knockout. He was defeated only once in approximately 300 matches.

Abraham Lincoln Had a Surprisingly High-Pitched Voice

President Abraham Lincoln (in the center) at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863.
Abraham Lincoln (squared in red) at Gettysburg, about 3 hours before his famous “Gettysburg Address” speech, 1863.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

When it comes to voice, many people think of Lincoln as having this deep and booming tone but in reality, he had a high pitched reedy one. However, that didn’t stop him from having powerful speeches. When Lincoln spoke, his words were slow and measured. This allowed time for consideration so that people could understand him fully. When describing Lincoln’s voice, journalist Horace White compared it to the sound of a boatswain’s whistle. This was likely due to the fact that he suffered from a severe case of laryngitis late in life. 

A Sculpture of Abraham Lincoln’s Head is Carved Into Mount Rushmore

Carving of Abraham Lincoln (right) at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Credit: Hasselblad500CM // CC BY-SA 4.0

The most popular sculpture on Mount Rushmore is that of Abraham Lincoln. For those who don’t know, Mount Rushmore is a monument located in Keystone, South Dakota, which features the faces of four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The idea for Mount Rushmore was first proposed in 1923 by Doane Robinson, the secretary of the South Dakota State Historical Society. He approached Gutzon Borglum, an artist, and sculptor, with the idea of creating a sculpture of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore. Borglum accepted the commission and began work on the project in 1927. The carving of Mount Rushmore was completed in 1941.

Abraham Lincoln Established Thanksgiving as a National Holiday

One of Abraham Lincoln’s most lasting legacies was his establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Lincoln declared that the fourth Thursday of November would be set aside as a day to give thanks for the nation’s blessings. Thanksgiving is now celebrated by millions of Americans every year. Today, Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and giving thanks. It is also a time for football games, Black Friday shopping, and parades. 

Abraham Lincoln’s Early Life

Young Lincoln
Young Abraham Lincoln.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Lincoln was the first president to be born outside of the original thirteen colonies. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. Lincoln’s parents were Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. His father was a farmer and carpenter. Lincoln had two brothers, Thomas and John, and a sister, Sarah. Lincoln grew up in a difficult time. The United States was divided by the issue of slavery; Lincoln was raised in a family that opposed slavery, and he developed a strong belief in the equality of all people. He believed that everyone deserved to be treated with respect and dignity. He studied at home and then attended college in Illinois. Lincoln was a self-taught man, and he was an accomplished lawyer and politician.

Lincoln’s Wife Came from a Slave-Owning Family

Wife of Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln.
Mary Todd Lincoln, circa 1847.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, came from a wealthy slave-owning family. Her father, Robert Todd, owned a large number of slaves. However, Mary opposed slavery and she helped to free her family’s slaves. She also worked to improve the living conditions of African Americans in Illinois. Mary was an important advisor to Abraham Lincoln and she played a significant role in his presidency.

Mary met Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in 1842. They were married on November 4, 1842. The Lincolns had four sons: Robert, Edward, William, and Thomas. The Lincolns were very close to their sons, and they were very involved in their lives. Unfortunately, three of their sons died before they reached adulthood. Mary was devastated by the deaths of her sons, and she suffered from depression for many years. Despite her personal tragedies, Mary was a supportive and loving wife to Abraham Lincoln. She was a strong advocate for his political career, and she played an important role in his success. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, Mary became the first lady of the United States. She was a popular first lady, and she was known for her elegance and style. Mary Todd Lincoln was an important figure in the history of the United States, and she will be remembered as one of the most influential first ladies in American history.

John Wilkes Booth Assassinated Abraham Lincoln

John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth, circa 1865.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth. Booth was a Confederate sympathizer who was angry about the Union’s victory in the Civil War. He believed that Lincoln was a tyrant who needed to be overthrown. Booth’s plan was to kidnap Lincoln and take him to Richmond, Virginia, where he would be held hostage until the South won the war. However, Booth’s plot went awry and he ended up shooting Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. Lincoln was taken to a nearby hospital, but he died the next day from his injuries. Booth was later captured and killed by Union troops. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a tragic event in American history, and it is still commemorated today.

Lincoln Was Photographed at His Inauguration with John Wilkes Booth

Lincoln's second inaugural address with Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth clearly visible
The Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, with Lincoln and Booth highlighted, 1865.
Credit: Mercury88888888 // CC BY-SA 3.0

The photograph is an important historical document, and it provides a unique glimpse into the life of Abraham Lincoln. What’s even more interesting, Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth can be seen standing close to Lincoln in the photograph.

Abraham Lincoln was an important figure in American history, and he is still remembered today. He was a self-taught man who became a successful lawyer and politician. He was raised in a family that opposed slavery, and he developed a strong belief in the equality of all people. Lincoln served as president during a difficult time in American history, and he played a significant role in the Union’s victory in the Civil War. He was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, and his assassination is still commemorated today.

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