Lincoln Facts

Learn a few facts about President Abraham Lincoln before your visit! 

16 facts to Know About our 16th President

  1. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing all slaves in areas under rebellion and paving the way for the destruction of slavery in the 13th.

  2. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation allowed African American men to officially serve in the U.S. armed forces for the first time. By the end of the war, 190,000 African-Americans had enlisted.

  3. Before his death, Lincoln advocated giving African-American veterans the right to vote—the first president ever to do so.

  4. Lincoln led the country through its greatest crisis, the Civil War, and was on the verge of victory when he died.

  5. Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated in office.

  6. Lincoln was the first Republican-elected president and only the second presidential candidate from that party.

  7. Lincoln was the first president not born in one of the original thirteen states.

  8. Lincoln remains the tallest person to serve as president, at 6’ 4".

  9. Lincoln remains the only president to hold a patent. His invention was a device for lifting boats over obstructions in the water.

  10. Lincoln only lost one election by direct vote of the people—his first run for the Illinois House of Representatives in 1832.

  11. Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842 and they had four sons: Robert, Eddy, Willie, and Tad. Only Robert lived to adulthood.

  12. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is the most well-known speech ever given by an English-speaking politician and has been reprinted and recited countless times since he delivered it on November 19, 1863.

  13. Lincoln is the most written-about figure in American history, with more than 18,000 books devoted to him.

  14. Lincoln was a lawyer and politician but tried several careers beforehand, such as surveyor, storekeeper, and postmaster (his first government job).

  15. Lincoln loved animals and reportedly had many pets, including dogs, cats, horses, and even goats.

  16. Lincoln was born in Kentucky, grew up in Indiana, spent most of his adult life in Illinois, and died in the District of Columbia.

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