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Abraham Lincoln and slavery facts for kids

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Abraham Lincoln
A monochrome photograph of a bearded man in a suit, showing his head and shoulders.
16th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin
Andrew Johnson
Preceded by James Buchanan
Succeeded by Andrew Johnson
Personal details
Born (1809-02-12)February 12, 1809
Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S.
Died April 15, 1865(1865-04-15) (aged 56)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Republican (1854–1865)
National Union (1864–1865)
Other political
Whig (before 1854)

Abraham Lincoln's position on slavery is one of the central issues in American history.

Lincoln often expressed his opposition to slavery in public and private. In 1863, Lincoln ordered the freedom of all slaves in the areas "in rebellion" and insisted on enforcement freeing millions of slaves, but he did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U.S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for the 1864 election.

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, who was a daughter of a slave-owning family from Kentucky.

Lincoln became a leading opponent of the "Slaveocracy" — that is the political power of the southern slave owners. The Kansas–Nebraska Act, written to form the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, included language which allowed the settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery in their region. Abraham Lincoln didn't like this.

During the Civil War, Lincoln used the war powers of the presidency to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, in January 1863. It declared "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free" but exempted border states and those areas of slave states already under Union control.

By the end of his life, Lincoln had come to support black suffrage, a position that would lead him to be assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

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