Learn a few facts about President Abraham Lincoln before your visit!
16 facts to Know About our 16th President
- 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.
- 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.
- Before his death, Lincoln advocated giving African-American veterans the right to vote—the first president ever to do so.
- Lincoln led the country through its greatest crisis, the Civil War, and was on the verge of victory when he died.
- Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated in office.
- Lincoln was the first Republican-elected president and only the second presidential candidate from that party.
- Lincoln was the first president not born in one of the original thirteen states.
- Lincoln remains the tallest person to serve as president, at 6’ 4".
- Lincoln remains the only president to hold a patent. His invention was a device for lifting boats over obstructions in the water.
- Lincoln only lost one election by direct vote of the people—his first run for the Illinois House of Representatives in 1832.
- Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842 and they had four sons: Robert, Eddy, Willie, and Tad. Only Robert lived to adulthood.
- 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.
- Lincoln is the most written-about figure in American history, with more than 18,000 books devoted to him.
- Lincoln was a lawyer and politician but tried several careers beforehand, such as surveyor, storekeeper, and postmaster (his first government job).
- Lincoln loved animals and reportedly had many pets, including dogs, cats, horses, and even goats.
- Lincoln was born in Kentucky, grew up in Indiana, spent most of his adult life in Illinois, and died in the District of Columbia.