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Abraham Lincoln, 1861-65
Born into poverty, Lincoln was raised on the frontier, was self-educated, became a lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a U.S. Congressman, and ultimately the 16th President of the United States. Shortly after his election, Southern states began seceding from the Union. Just over one month after Lincoln assumed the presidency, the Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter. His wartime leadership proved itself repeatedly through times of personal turmoil and clinical depression. His pragmatic governance, critical thinking, and sound judgment guided a torn nation along a path of righteousness. His Gettysburg Address is regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American political discourse. On 14 April 1865, he was assassinated – just days after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
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