Law Hall of Fame logoAmerican president during the American Civil War and chief architect of the demise of the Confederate forces and slavery.

Born on Sunday, February 12, 1809, the son of a carpenter, Lincoln became a lawyer and was a member of the Illinois legislature for eight years and represented clients throughout his state with a zeal that caused his law partner to say of him:

"His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest."

Abraham LincolnEven as early as 1854, he had publicly declared that slavery should be abolished. Lincoln became President in 1961 and in 1863 he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared slaves in the Confederacy free.

He was an inspirational speaker and writer. Of the dead during the civil war he said at Gettysburg that:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth."

Re-elected in 1864, with the end of the Civil War soon at hand, Lincoln said:Lincoln postage stamp

"... with malice towards none; with charity towards all; with firmness in the light, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds."

He was assassinated on Good Friday, April 14, 1865.