In 1861 Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) became the United States' sixteenth president. But before Lincoln became the nation's chief executive, he led a fascinating life that sheds considerable light upon significant themes in American history. This Web site presents materials from Lincoln's Illinois years (1830-1861), supplemented by resources from Illinois' early years of statehood (1818-1829). Thus Lincoln/Net provides a record of Lincoln's career, but it also uses his experiences as a lens through which users might explore and analyze his social and political context.

Lincoln-Douglas Debates


Read in-depth accounts and analyses from 1858 of the seven debates that occurred between Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln and Democratic nominee Stephen Douglas.

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Black Hawk War


Discover the history behind the 1832 conflict between the United States and Native Americans as led by the Sauk leader Black Hawk. 

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The Mexican-American War


Examine the roots of the 1846-1848 war between the United States and Mexico, which followed the annexation of Texas.

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Getting the Message Out! National Campaign Materials 1840-1860


Learn more about the campaigns, parties, and candidates that comprised the elections held in the period 1840-1860.

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How to Use This Site


The Lincoln/Net site is comprised of both primary source documents, as well as modern scholarly interpretive materials, including thematic essays and video interviews.

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