Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is one of the most prominent figures in American history. He was the United States Of America's 16th president, and has led many great men and women into the future. He was born on February 12th, 1809 in a small log cabin in rural Kentucky. Lincoln's political career began in the 1830s in Illinois as a member of the Whig Party and eventually he worked his way to national status during the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. In 1860, he was the first Republican elected President of the United States. Several southern states seceded from the Union to form a new nation just before Lincoln was officially inaugurated, leading to the American Civil War. The states that seceded did so because of disagreements over Lincoln's positions on slavery, states' rights, and a number of other issues.
He enacted the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 which freed all slaves in all Union controlled states. He is also known for the Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in American history. The speech was considered one of the turning points of the war and his presidency as it reversed doubts about the war in Northern states. He was assassinated on April 15th, 1865 at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. while he was watching a play. The assassination occurred only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops in Appomattox.
Lincoln's assassination was carried out by John Wilkes Booth, a southern sympathizer and popular stage actor of his era. Booth worked at Ford's Theater and had created a plan with a cabal of other southern sympathizers to assassinate all major members of the Lincoln cabinet including Vice President Andrew Johnson. However, Booth's actions were the only part of the plan to come to fruition.
During the 1840s, Lincoln was a supporter of the American Colonization Society - a movement to send all African Americans to Liberia and out of America. During Lincoln's first Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln also mentions he is in favor of the colonization of blacks from whites, and continued to be supportive during his presidency.
On August 14, 1862, Lincoln escorted five African Americans to the White House to arrange a meeting with them about gathering other African Americans to leave America and go as free men to Liberia. Lincoln asked and answered the question "Why should they leave the country?":
"You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated."
Frederick Douglas responded to Lincoln's ideas as "remarkably illogical". He also took great offense to Lincoln's assertion that it was because of African Americans that the Civil War took place. Douglas considered the accusation to be that of "a horse thief pleading that the existence of the horse is the apology for his theft.".
Lincoln's first attempt of colonization was in September 1862, in which he attempted to colonize the Chiriqui region of Panama. The plan was to send as many as 50,000 former slaves to this area, with an agreement with businessman Ambrose W. Thompson who owned land in that area. He arranged for Senator Samuel Pomeroy to look after the colonization. However, this attempt failed due to questionable land deeds.
In Video Game Culture
- Abraham Lincoln is present in several games in the Civilization franchise.
- Abraham Lincoln is a foe in Catan, a game in which many historical figures appear as opponents of the player.
- In the Telltale Games episodic Sam & Max series, the statue of Abraham Lincoln runs for President and later returns as Sybil Pandemik's love interest, husband, and baby-daddy.
- The Lincoln Memorial, a real life structure in Washington D.C., is one of the few standing structures in Fallout 3. The player can also find Lincoln's Lever-Action Rifle as well as his top hat.
- Maxwell can summon Abraham Lincoln in Scribblenauts.
- Lincoln is an unlockable character in Fight Club.; a reference to the protagonist's response when he's asked which historical figure he'd most like to fight.
- In Conduit 2, Lincoln makes an inexplicable appearance at the very end of the game as he meets the game's protagonist while dressed in space marine-like power armor.
- In Team Fortress 2, Abraham Lincoln was the original Pyro, and apparently the inventor of stairs. He faked his death to become a mercenary, and his real death was apparently caused by a rocket jumping accident.
- In Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., Lincoln is the organizer and leader of the titular task force.