Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long-running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of the 16th President of the U.S., Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was born near Hodgenville, Kentucky, and was eventually elected to the Illinois legislature in 1834. He became a lawyer in 1836. A decade later, he was elected to a single term in Congress, where he spoke against the extension of slavery, became a Republican in 1856, and in 1860 was elected president on a platform of hostility toward slavery's expansion. When the Civil War began in 1861, he defined the issue in terms of national integrity, not anti-slavery, a theme he restated in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Nonetheless, the same year, he proclaimed freedom for all slaves in areas of rebellion. He was re-elected in 1864, and after the final Northern victory, he intended to reunite the former warring parties on the easiest possible terms; but on April 14, 1865, he was shot at Ford's Theatre, Washington, by an actor, John Wilkes Booth, and died next morning. He is remembered for his considerable political skills, and his self-education and broad vision have come to be a symbol of American democracy. Lincoln's life and political career are documented using historic photographs, personal letters and interviews with historians.
Civil-War [US], lawyer, politician, President