Abraham Lincoln Biography

Abraham Lincoln Biography


Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?

– Abraham Lincoln


Let’s unfold a life journey of the most loved president of the United States. Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln biography read will help us to know what an individual can achieve in life though there were many roadblocks.

He not only eliminated slavery from the United States but also from other countries too. This wasn’t easy for him to get this done with situations, he was going through.

Name: Abraham Lincoln

Birth: February 12, 1809

Died: April 15, 1865 (aged 56)

Known as: 16th President of the United States

Nationality: American

Life challenges

Abraham Lincoln spent his childhood in poverty. He and his family have faced many difficulties finding shelter to live. His father is so poor that he can’t afford Lincoln’s schooling. Abraham Lincoln is self-learner. He educated himself from books donated by people. 


Due to poverty, he started doing labour jobs since childhood. He lost his mother when he was just 9 years old. The girl he loved and wanted to marry, died.

Stepped into politics to fight against slavery and lose elections many times.

There was a time in his life when he used to keep himself away from the knife and sharpen objects. He was depressed badly due to failures happening in his life and was in fear of an attempt to suicide.

If you don’t accept failures, then your efforts are not wasted. If you do efforts then you will never face failures.

After having so many problems in personal and professional life, he never gave up. He won 16th election for president of the United States and saved the country from the civil war.


“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

– Abraham Lincoln



Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Lincoln was the second child of  Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Due to some property issues, they have to left their house after two years from Lincoln’s birth.

His father was a farmer and part-time carpenter. The entire family moved to a place called Knob Creek Farm where they started doing farming. However, they again faced land conflicts which force them to leave from there.

They relocated themselves to Indiana near Ohio river. There they started doing farming in the jungle. They were living in a self-made wooden log cabin. Even, today it has been preserved as a memorial to his home and fields.




I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.

– Abraham Lincoln


At the age of six, he joined a school for getting an education however due to poor financial condition, he was helping his father in farming. His father also didn’t want Lincoln to get involved in school and books. Due to these unfortunate cases, he had to leave schooling.

He was very much interested in learning though, he was no more connected with the school to get a formal education. 

He used to borrow books from others and try to educate himself whenever it’s possible.

Family of little Lincoln

Life took a very strange turn when Lincoln lost his mother when he was a 9-year-old kid. After her death, all household responsibility was taken care of 11-year-old Sarah (Lincoln’ elder sister).

Considering these factors, Lincoln’s father decided to marry and got married to Sarah Bush. She was already a mother of three however she never considered Lincoln as a stepson. Sarah took care and raised Lincoln like her own son. She also helped young Lincoln in his studies.

Lincoln had a lot of respect for his stepmother. When he interviewed after becoming president, he mentioned that “Whatever I’m today, the entire credit goes to my mother”.


No man is poor who has a Godly mother.

– Abraham Lincoln


On the other hand, his father’s behaviour with Lincoln was not like the ideal father. He doesn’t want Lincoln to spend time and efforts on reading books. He never supported him for education still Lincoln didn’t give up on it and tried to get educated by reading books.

Love for knowledge

Since the financial condition wasn’t good, Lincoln used to do many jobs since childhood. Based on the knowledge he gained from books, he created a boat. He started to earn by delivering goods using this boat. He was also involved in farming as a contractor farmer and was working for other people’s farm.


After a few years, he got a job in a store and that way he got some time to read books. As far as he involved himself in reading books, he was self-educating himself exposed to many career options. 

He decided to study LAW and without joining any college, he started to gain knowledge about law by reading books. While pursuing law study, he came to know that a retired judge is living on another side of the river and has many books written on the law.

Law journey


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

– Abraham Lincoln


It was like a treasure box for Lincoln. He decided to approach that judge and will request to get access to his book collection. The climate in those days was very cold and snowy. To meet the judge, he had to cross a river on his own. Lincoln was so determined and passionate about reading books that he didn’t even think about other things. He took his boat and start sailing towards another side of the river.

His boat got sank in the middle of the river due to a bump to iceberg. His focus was clear then how can an iceberg, cold water going to stop him reaching his destination. He swam the remaining river without worrying about cold water and finally standing in front of the judge in wet cloths.

Lincoln requested the judge to permit him to go through his book collection. Considering his efforts and passion for learning, it was difficult for the judge to say no and he allowed him. He also offered Lincoln to work as a servant at his home and Lincoln accepted that offer happily.


He used to work all day for the retired judge and in return, a bookshelf full of law books was available to him. But Lincoln was very happy with it as he was learning law and had got access to many books.

Broken phase

After some time, he became a postmaster in a village becoming more socialized in society. People started knowing him. Looking at people’s problems, he decided to enter into politics so that he can make changes in society. Slavery was at its peak, that time. Lincoln was strongly against slavery and was unable to tolerate torture happing with people.


To make an impact for this cause, he stepped into a politics and participate himself for MLA elections. He lost in those elections. He also left his postmaster job since he was stepping towards elections. Again, he found himself in financial crisis due to these events.

At the age of 24, he was in love with Ann Rutledge. Unfortunately, she passed away due to typhoid fever. Losing Rutledge was a shock for him and he had put himself into a depression. Broken Lincoln used to cry sitting near her tomb for hours.

Everything was going against Lincoln. He was financially weak, lost elections, no job and lost loved one. 

He broked by these events such that he was started thinking about suicide. He used to keep himself away from objects like knife, in fear that he could attempt suicide.


I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.

– Abraham Lincoln


Standing up again

His friend Greene had helped him a lot to get out of this depression phase. He encouraged and motivated him to stand against all odds. With the help of Greene, Lincoln participated again for MLA elections and got elected. 

Lincoln was considered as most young promising MLA at that time by people. Youngsters were getting attracted to Lincoln’s personality and political work.

In parliament, Lincoln was speaking confidently with wise thoughts and he was starting to get respect in his political career.

He was got an official licence to become a lawyer however he didn’t get success as a lawyer. Lincoln was a man of principles. He wasn’t charging fees if the client was poor and he never advocated false cases in the courtroom. Though it was a failed career option, he contributed 20 years of his life advocating for poor and needy people. 


When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two-thirds of the time thinking about what they want to hear and one-third thinking about what I want to say.

– Abraham Lincoln


He was practising as a lawyer because it is providing him with mental peace that encourages him to help others.

In 1842, Lincoln married a girl named Mary Todd. Mary gave birth to 4 children however 1 survived.

President of the United States


In 1860, Lincoln participated in the election for the President of the United States and got elected. He achieved the biggest success in his life by becoming 16th President of the United States.

After becoming president, he had done such a wonderful job. Impact of his work was not only limited to the United States but also to other countries too. His greatest achievement was to bail out from US civil war.

In his journey as a president, he contributed so much towards the development of people and war against slavery. Lincoln’s role is significantly important for the United States that we know today.

He was president only for five years however people still love and respect, the way he lived and made changes to other people lives for the United States.


Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

– Abraham Lincoln



On 14 April 1865, President Lincoln with his wife went to watch a play in Ford theatre. He was shot in a theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

After being into a coma for eight hours, Lincoln died on 15 April.

It was a huge loss of the United States to lose great visionary and thinker. Tribute his work and in loving memory of him, an American national memorial is built to honour him. It’s known as Lincoln_Memorial and construction were completed in 1922.


Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.

– Abraham Lincoln


Takeaway from Lincoln

  • The way Lincoln lived, struggled and worked is teaching us many things.
  • We don’t have to give up and always focus us towards the goals we are after with positive thinking.
  • The time is playing its role and we don’t have control over things that are happening in our lives but we do have control over our mind to decide where we would be moving ahead.
  • We all face difficult situations in our lives which will make us helpless. However, the world knows only those who concurred victory over such situations.
  • It doesn’t matter how poor or uneducated you are if you have determined to achieve something, no one and nothing can stop you from achieving it.
  • Remember, getting success and things we want is the game of patience, our actions, principles and mindset. If you can play fairly with all these factors, you don’t even realize the existence of failure in your life.

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

– Abraham Lincoln


Book references

This is the journey of the man from the one-room log cabin to the white house. I hope you find it inspiring and can find values for yourself in it. 

If you want to learn or read more about Lincoln’s life, here are the books you can refer to from Amazon.

This read is crafted based on my internet research and information listed in books. If I have drafted anything wrong or missed something, feel free to mention the same in comments.

I would also like to know your thoughts about Lincoln and other great personalities(which I can consider for future biographies). Please share this blog in your social media circle for someone who can get inspired by Lincoln’s biography.


All I have learned, I learned from books.

– Abraham Lincoln


Until next time, never stop reading…

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