Who was America's greatest President? Was it George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) or Abraham Lincoln?
Lincoln in polls throughout the years has often ranked 1st and often no worse than 3rd. Lincoln served in the White House from 1861-1865 serving one full term and was reelected for a second term, but served just 42 days.
He was sadly the first president assassinated on April 14th at 10:15pm at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. by actor John Wilkes Booth and passed the next morning at 7:22am on April 15th.
It was immediately upon his passing, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton who was at his bedside, said those famous words; "Now he belongs to the ages." How true that statement rings. Lincoln was just 56 and will be forever remembered for his accomplishments, courage and determination to preserve the Union.
During Lincoln's presidency, the States were not united. The country was divided into northern and southern regions. The Northern states were part of the United States. However, the southern states had seceded from the Union and declared themselves the Confederate States of America and had their own president.
Then then Civil War broke out. It was America's bloodiest war ever resulting in more casualties 620,000 than WW1, WW2 and the Vietnam War combined.
Lincoln led the United States to victory over the Confederacy. Then came his famous Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln America's 16th president was also the tallest U.S. president at 6 foot 4 inches tall. When he wore his top hat he stood over 7 feet tall.
Lincoln grew up poor in a Kentucky log cabin. His mother passed when he young, just 9 and she was 34. He was self-educated yet propelled himself to become President.
Why is Lincoln so remembered and revered by Americans? Is it that he kept the Union together under the most difficult of circumstances? Is it that he ended slavery?
Or is it because somehow he held it together dealing with the loss of his son Edward who was 4 who passed of typhoid fever and would have to deal with the loss of two other sons before they reached 18.
It is sad to think Lincoln had four sons and only one would live to see adulthood Robert Todd. His other son Willie 11 passed of typhoid fever and Tad at 18 who died of TB.
Robert lived to be 82. His middle name Todd was as in Mary Todd. Todd was his mother's maiden name who ironically was a Southern Belle from Kentucky. Mary lived to be 63 and had mental health issues.
Robert Todd Lincoln was a graduate of Harvard Law School and served in two presidential administration from 1881 to 1885. Robert was Secretary of War under President James Garfield and then under Chester A. Arthur after Garfield was assassinated. He also served as the Minister to London. That position was changed later to Ambassador to Great Britain
Robert Lincoln died wealthy in Vermont. He served as President of the Pullman Palace Car Company from 1897-1911. After he retired from this position in 1911 he served as Chairman of the Board until 1922. Robert lost his only son Abraham Lincoln II at age 16 who went by the family nickname of "Jack."
What is about Lincoln that fascinates us still? Is that he was so driven to keep the Union together and he succeeded? What is that he at times planned military strategies and was actually on the battlefield himself?
Or was it his determination to free the slaves at all costs? Or was it his memorable speeches at Cooper Union in New York that helped him get elected president.
Or was it most famous speech after the battle of Gettysburg? Below are Lincoln's memorable words of that speech on that historic day of November 19, 1863.
For anyone interested in Lincoln, I would recommend they watch "The Conspirator" which covers the Lincoln conspiracy and the tragic events and outcomes of those infamous conspirators. Other memorable DVDs I recommend are; PBS Home Video productions of "Abraham and Mary; a house divided" and "Looking for Lincoln."
America will forever remember Lincoln as so many Americans still consider him to be our nation's greatest president. His image on U.S. coins, currency, stamps and his chiselsed face in stone on Mount Rushmore proves his lasting legacy.
jameswritesbest (author) on April 09, 2021:
Thank you taking the time to read my article.
MG Singh from UAE on April 08, 2021:
Very informative article. I didn't know about the sad story of his sons. He was certainly a great man.