Author of the picture: Alexander Gardner

Kentucky, U.S., February 12, 1809 -Washington D.C., U.S., April 15, 1865

Abraham Lincoln was a North American politician and lawyer who became the 16th President of the United States of America.  Coming from a humble background and being predominantly self-taught, he worked at a law firm and, in 1846, was elected to the House of Representatives of the United States for the period of 1847-1849 as part of the Whig Party.

Lincoln maintained an anti-slavery ideology and he made it known even when he became the first presidential candidate for the Republican Party, which he had joined in 1856.  Their victory in November of 1860 provoked a severe crisis between the southern states of the nation, which feared the abolition of slavery.  In 1861, seven southern states left the American federation and became Confederate states.

Lincoln and George B. McClellan 1862. / Author: Alexander Gardner

Lincoln and George B. McClellan 1862. / Author: Alexander Gardner

In 1861, the Civil War broke out and, despite this, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 which established the abolition of slavery even in Confederate territory.  In November of the same year, he gave his iconic speech at the ceremony of the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg where he expressed the purpose of war and praised freedom, democracy and the pursuit of human equality.

In 1864, he won the re-election for presidency, but his plans were interrupted by his assassination.  He was shot dead by a Confederate supporter while watching a play.  However, his provisions in favor of freedom had given him a privileged place amongst the greatest presidents that the United States has had to date.