President Abraham Lincoln reading to his son Thomas. Photographed in 1864 by Anthony Berger. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the 16th President of the United States, from March 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He led his country through the American Civil War, preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and promoting economic and financial modernization. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator and member of the United States House of Representatives. Lincoln secured the Republican nomination and was elected president in 1860. Before Lincoln took office in March, seven southern slave states declared their secession and formed the...
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