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Abraham Lincoln Chronology
By James T. Hickey
Curator of the Lincoln Collection, Illinois State Historical library



Feb. 12.   " I was born Feb. 12, 1809 in then Hardin County Kentucky." The birthplace farm is about three miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky.


   The census for Hardin County lists the family of Thomas Lincoln as a male between 25 and 45 years of age with wife between 26 and 45, boy (Abraham) under ten, and girl (Sarah) under ten.


Spring.   Thomas Lincoln and family move from the birthplace farm to a 230-acre farm on Knob Creek, ten miles north and six miles east of Hodgenville.


   A younger brother of Abraham, named Thomas, is born this year and dies in infancy.


Autumn.   For a few weeks in the fall of 1815 Abraham and his sister Sarah attend a school taught by Zachariah Riney. The following year the school is taught by Caleb Hazel.


December.   During the first of this month Thomas Lincoln moves his family from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Ind. (then Perry County).


Oct. 15.   Thomas Lincoln goes to the government land office at Vincennes and enters the farm he has settled on.


Oct. 5.   Nancy Hanks Lincoln, mother of Abraham, dies of milk sickness.


Dec. 2.   Thomas Lincoln, father of Abraham, marries Mrs. Sarah Bush Johnston in Elizabethtown, Ky.


June 7.   Thomas Lincoln becomes member of the Pigeon Creek Baptist Church.


Jan. 20.   Lincoln's sister Sarah, who married Aaron Grigsby on Aug. 2, 1826 dies in childbirth.

   During this year Abraham and Allen Gentry take a flatboat loaded with cargo to New Orleans for Allen's father James Gentry.


Mar. 1.   Thomas Lincoln's family and the families of his two stepsons-in-law start for Illinois. Abraham, one of the thirteen in the party, drives one of the three wagons.

Mar 15.   The Lincoln family locates ten miles southwest of Decatur, on the north bank of the Sangamon River (now Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park).


March.   Lincoln, his cousin John Hanks, and stepbrother John D. Johnston leave home. At Springfield Denton Offutt hires them to help build a flatboat at Sangamon Town, seven miles northwest of Springfield.

April-July.   Lincoln pilots the flatboat to New Orleans for Offutt and return to New Salem, eighteen miles northwest of Springfield.

Aug. 1.   Lincoln casts his first vote at John Carmon's house in New Salem, the voting place of Clary's Grove Precinct which includes New Salem.

September.   Lincoln begins clerking in Denton Offutt's new store at New Salem.


Mar. 9.   Lincoln becomes a candidate for the legislature on a platform favoring improvement of navigation on the Sangamon River, changes in the usury laws, and universal education.

Apr. 7.   Lincoln is elected a captain in the 31st Regiment, Illinois Militia.

Apr. 21.   New Salem neighborhood volunteers for the Black Hawk War form a company and elect Lincoln captain.

May 27.   Captain Lincoln's company is mustered out of service at Fort Johnson, Ottawa. He then enlists in Capt. Elijah Iles' regiment for twenty days.

June 16.   Lincoln re-enlists in Capt. Jacob M. Early's independent spy company at Fort Wilbourn.

July 10.   The mustering-out roll of  Capt. Early's company, written by Lincoln, is certified by lt. Robert Anderson ( who was to be command at Fort Sumter in 1861).

Aug. 6.   Lincoln, a candidate for the first time, is defeated in his bid for a seat in Illinois legislature. He is eighth in the field of thirteen candidates.


Jan. 15.   Lincoln and William F. Berry purchase from William Greene for $750 the store in New Salem formerly owned by Reuben Radford.

May. 7.   President Jackson appoints Lincoln postmaster at New Salem. He serves until May 30, 1836, when the office is discontinued.


Jan. 6.   Lincoln, as deputy surveyor of Sangamon County, makes his first known survey for Reason Shipley. He continues surveying for three years.

Aug. 4.   Lincoln, in his second try for public office, is elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as a representative for Sangamon County.

Sept. 30.   Lincoln surveys the town of New Boston on the Mississippi River, now in Mercer County.

Dec. 1.   Lincoln takes his seat in the fifty-five-member Illinois House of Representatives at Vandalia.


Aug. 25.   Ann Rutledge, legendary sweetheart of Lincoln, dies at the Rutledge farm seven miles northwest of New Salem.

Dec. 7.   Lincoln is present for the opening of a special session of Illinois legislature at Vandalia.


Feb. 13.   Lincoln addresses a large crowd in Petersburg promoting the proposed Beardstown and Sangamon Canal.

Mar. 16.   Lincoln purchases from the Federal government a forty-seven-acre tract of land twelve miles northwest of New Salem on the Sangamon River.

Mar. 24.   Lincoln takes the first of three steps towards obtaining the license to practice law when his name is entered on the Sangamon Circuit Court record as a person of good moral character.

Aug. 1.  Lincoln is elected a second time to the Illinois legislature.

Sept. 9.   Two justices of the Supreme Court give Lincoln a license to practice law in all courts of the State.

Oct. 5.   Lincoln files a plea in his first suit, Hawthorn vs. Woodridge, in the Sangamon County Circuit Court.

Dec. 13.   Lincoln writes his famous "love letter" to Mary Owens at New Salem.


Feb. 24.   The bill for removal of the capital from Vandalia to Springfield, which Lincoln and other members from Sangamon County have been promoted, is passed by the House of Representatives. The Senate reports its concurrence the following day.

Mar. 1.   As the final step towards becoming an attorney, Lincoln's name is entered on the roll of attorneys in the office of the clerk of Supreme Court.

Mar. 3.   Making his first attack on slavery Lincoln, along with Dan Stone, enters in the House Journal his protest against an antiabolitionist resolution passed by the House on Jan. 20.

Apr. 15.   Lincoln moves to Springfield and becomes the law partner of John T. Stuart. He rooms with Joshua F. Speed.


Aug. 6.   Lincoln is elected to the Illinois legislature for the third time.

Dec. 3.   At the opening of the Illinois legislature in Vandalia, Lincoln, a Whig, is defeated for speaker of the House of Representatives by W. L. D. Ewing, a Democrat.


June 24.   Lincoln is elected to the Springfield town board.

Sept. 23.   Lincoln begins the practice of law on the newly organized Eighth Judicial Circuit, which he continues until his nomination for presidency.

Oct. 8.   Lincoln is named a presidential elector by the state Whig convention meeting in Springfield. He is also chosen in 1844, 1852, and 1856.

Dec. 3.   Judge Nathaniel Pope admits Lincoln to the practice of law in United States Circuit Court.

Dec. 9.   The Illinois legislature, of which Lincoln is a member, meets in Springfield, the new capital, for the first time.


April.   Lincoln as Whig president elector campaigns at rallies in Carlinville, Alton, Belleville, and Pittsfield.

June 18.   Lincoln argues his first case in the Illinois Supreme Court.

Aug. 3.    Lincoln is elected for the fourth time in Illinois legislature.

August - September.   As a Whig president elector, Lincoln campaigns in southern Illinois.


January 1.   An emotional crisis upsets Lincoln's relations with Mary Todd and he is absent from the legislature for several days.

Apr. 14.   Stuart and Lincoln dissolve their law partnership and Lincoln becomes the partner of Stephen T. Logan.

August - September.   Lincoln goes to Louisville, Ky., to visit for three weeks with his intimate friend Joshua F. Speed.


Mar. 1.   Paying $2.00 for his certificate, Lincoln is admitted to practice in U.S. District Court.

Sept. 22.   A proposed duel between Lincoln and James Shields is averted when friends on both sides intervene.

Nov. 4.    Lincoln and Mary Todd are married in the evening at the home of her brother-in-law Ninian W. Edwards by the Rev. Charles Dresser, Episcopal minister.


Apr. 1.   Mrs. Sarah Beck leases the Globe Tavern where the Lincolns live.

Aug. 1.   The Lincolns' first child, Robert Todd, is born at the Globe Tavern.


Jan. 16.   Lincoln and Rev. Charles Dresser sign a contract for Lincoln's purchase of property now known as "Lincoln's Home." Price is $1,200 and a lot in the business section of Springfield. The Lincolns move in on May 1.

October - November.   Lincoln, as a presidential elector, campaigns for Henry Clay in southern Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. He visits and speaks at his boyhood home near Gentryville, Ind.

Dec. 9.   William H. Herndon is admitted to a bar. The firm of Lincoln and Herndon is organized soon afterward.


Mar. 10.   The Lincolns' second child is born and is named Edward Baker.

Aug. 3.   Lincoln, with an unprecedented majority of 1,511 votes over his Democratic opponent Rev. Peter Cartwright, is the only Whig among seven congressmen elected from Illinois.


November.   The Lincolns and their two sons visit most of this month with Mrs. Lincoln's family in Lexington, Ky. From there they continue to Washington.

Dec. 6.   Lincoln takes his seat in the Thirtieth Congress, the only one which he was a member. 

Dec. 22.   Lincoln presents resolutions requesting President James K. Polk to inform the House whether "spot" on which Americans blood was first shed in Mexican War was within territory claimed by Mexico.


June 7-9.   Lincoln is present at Whig convention in Philadelphia which nominates General Zachary Taylor - Lincoln's choice - for president.

Sept. 12-22.   Lincoln, accompanied by his family, makes a ten-day speaking tour of New England.


Jan. 10.   Lincoln read his amendment to a resolution in Congress on abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. His amendment, among other changes, provides for compensated emancipation. Abandoned by his backers, he never formally introduces the amendment.

Mar. 7.   Lincoln is admitted to practice before U.S. Supreme Court.

Mar. 10.   Lincoln applies for a patent on a "new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant chambers with steam boats or other vessels". The patent is granted on May 22.

June 21.   Lincoln is bitterly disappointed at not being named Commissioner of General Land Office, a position for which he had worked for weeks and had made a special trip to Washington.

Aug. 21.   Lincoln declines offer to secretary of Oregon Territory.

Sept. 27.   Lincoln "cannot consent to accept" governorship of Oregon.


Feb. 1.   The Lincoln's second son, Edward Baker, dies after an illness of fifty-two days.

July 25.   Lincoln, in Chicago for U.S. District Court session, delivers eulogy on President Zachary Taylor at City Hall.

Dec. 21.   The Lincoln's third son, William Wallace, is born.


Jan. 17.   Lincoln's father, Thomas, born in Virginia in 1778, dies in Coles County, Ill.


July 6.   In Hall of Representatives in the Capitol, Lincoln delivers an eulogy as Springfield pays tribute to Henry Clay.

Aug. 14.   Lincoln opens his campaign for Winfield Scott for President with a review of Douglas's speech at Richmond, July 9. Unable to finish in two hours, he announces he will continue at the next meeting.


Apr. 4.   The Lincolns' fourth son, Thomas (Tad), is born.

Aug. 27.   According to tradition Lincoln uses watermelon juice to christen the new town of Lincoln, named for him by the proprietors Latham, Gillette, and Hickox.


May 30.   Having devoted most of his time since 1849 to the practice of law, Lincoln has lost interest in politics. He is aroused by the passing and signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Oct. 16.   Lincoln and Douglas meet in Peoria. Lincoln delivers one of his great speeches - substantially the same speech he had made in Bloomington on Sept. 12 and in Springfield on Oct. 4 on "repeal of the Missouri compromise."

Nov. 7.   Lincoln is elected to the Illinois legislature, but resigns on Nov. 27 to become a candidate for U.S. Senate.


Feb. 8.   To prevent the election of Joel A. Matteson to the U.S. Senate by the General Assembly, Lincoln throws his votes to Lyman Trumbull, who is elected on the tenth ballot. Lincoln regrets his defeat "moderately."

Aug. 18.   Acting as agent for Mrs. Maria L. Bullock of Lexington, Ky., Mrs. Lincoln's aunt, Lincoln sells several lots in Bullock's addition to Springfield.


Feb. 22.   Lincoln is responsible for adoption of a statement of principles by convention of anti-Nebraska editors meeting in Decatur. This statement - on which all anti - Nebraska factions agree - marks beginning of Republican Party in Illinois.

Spring.   Contractors Hannan and Ragsdale, at a cost of $1,300, enlarge the Lincolns' home from a story and a half to two full stories.

May 29.   As a presidential elector for the fourth time, Lincoln delivers his famous "Lost Speech" at the organization of the Republican Party at Bloomington, Ill. he makes "over fifty speeches" during the campaign.

June 19.   The first Republican National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, takes an informal ballot for vice-president and Lincoln receives 110 votes.

Aug. 27.   To a crowd  of 10,000 gathering at Kalamazoo, Mich., for a Republican demonstration for Freemont, Lincoln makes his only speech in Michigan.

Dec. 1.   Because of the absence of Judge David Davis, Lincoln presides over Sangamon County Circuit Court. During five years he acts as judge on several occasions in four different counties.


June 18.  The McLean County Circuit Court  awards Lincoln his fee of $5,000 in his suit against Illinois Central Railroad. His largest fee, it was for successfully representing the railroad in the famous McLean County tax case.

June 26.   Speaking in the House of Representatives in Springfield, Lincoln delivers his first major speech against the "erroneous" Dred Scott decision.


Apr. 6.   Lincoln lectures in "Discoveries and Inventions" at Centre Hall, Bloomington, Ill. He speaks on the same subject at Jacksonville (Feb. 11, 1859), Decatur (Feb., 1859), Springfield (Feb. 21, 1859,  April 26, 1860), and Pontiac (Jan. 27, 1860).

May 7.   Using an almanac to discredit the state's star witness, Lincoln clears Duff Armstrong, son of his old friend Jack Armstrong, of a murder charge in Cass County Circuit, Beardstown.

June 16.   The Illinois State Republic Convention, meeting in the Hall of Representatives in the statehouse in Springfield, unanimously resolves "that Abraham Lincoln is the first and only choice of the Republicans of Illinois for the U.S. Senate." Lincoln accepts and in the evening delivers his "House Divided" speech.

Aug. 21.   At Ottawa Lincoln and Douglas hold their first joint debate. Six more debates are held at Freeport (Aug. 27), Jonesboro (Sept. 15), Charleston (Sept. 18), Galesburg (Oct.7), Quincy (Oct. 13) and Alton (Oct. 15). Beginning in Chicago on July 10, Lincoln makes at least sixty - three speeches during the campaign.

Nov. 2.   In the election Lincoln gets a majority of the votes, but Douglas is re-elected because of the gerry-mannered legislative districts. Lincoln describes the campaign as a "struggle in which I felt more than a merely selfish interest."


Sept. 16 - 17.   Lincoln is in Ohio, speaking in Dayton, Hamilton, Cincinnati, and twice in Columbus.

Sept. 30 - Oct. 1.   Lincoln speaks at the Wisconsin state fair in Milwaukee, and at Beloit and Janesville the next day.

Dec. 1-3.   Lincoln is in Kansas and speaks at Elwood, Troy, Doniphan, Atchison, and Leavenworth a few days before the territorial election.

Dec. 20.   At the request of Jesse W. Fell, Lincoln sends his autobiography, requesting that "If any thing be made out of it, I wish it to be modest."


Feb. 27.   In New York City, Lincoln delivers his famous Cooper Union address, which the New York Tribune prints in its entirety.

Feb. 28.   Lincoln begins a two-weeks speaking tour of New England, where he speaks eleven times. The stop at Exeter, N.H., gives him an opportunity to visit his son Robert, who is attending Phillips Exeter Academy.

May 9 - 10.   The Illinois Republican Convention, meeting in Decatur, unanimously instructs its delegation to the National Convention to support Lincoln who is present, for President. It is here that he receives the nickname "Rail Splitter."

May 18.   Lincoln, who remains in Springfield, is nominated for President on the third ballot by the Republican National Convention in Chicago. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine receives the nomination for Vice - President.

July.   Robert Lincoln enrolls in Harvard University. After graduation in 1864 he becomes a captain on the staff of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Oct. 19.   Lincoln receives a suggestion from eleven - year - old Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., that he grow beard. He writes her, "As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?"

Nov. 6.   Lincoln becomes the first Republican to be elected President of the United States, defeating the three other candidates, Douglas (Northern Democrat), John C. Breckinridge (Southern Democrat), and John Bell (Constitutional Unionist).

Dec. 20.   "The Union Is Dissolved " with the secession of South Carolina.


Jan. 31.   Lincoln makes a farewell visit to his aged stepmother in Coles County.

Feb. 4.   The Confederate States of American are formed by representatives of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana meeting at Montgomery, Ala. Texas, which has also suceded, is not represented. Jefferson Davis is elected president and Alexander H. Stephens, vice - president.

Feb. 11.   Lincoln delivers his "Farewell Address" to the people of Springfield from the rear of his car at the Great Western Railroad station.

Feb. 23.   After a twelve-day trip and many speeches and public appearances, Lincoln, because of reports of an assassination plot at Baltimore, arrives secretly in Washington.

Mar. 4.   Lincoln is inaugurated the sixteenth President of the United States.

Apr. 12 - 14.   Fort Sumter is attacked and, after thirty - four hours of bombardment, surrenders to the Confederate forces and is evacuated.

Apr. 15.   In a proclamation President Lincoln calls forth "the Militia of the several States of the Union to the aggregate number of seventy-five thousand." He also convenes Congress to meet in extra session on July 4. Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas secede.

Apr. 19.   President Lincoln proclaims a blockade of ports in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

Apr. 27.   Lincoln suspends writs of hebeas corpus along line of troop movements between Philadelphia and Washington and extends blockade to the ports of North Carolina and Virgina.

May 3.   Lincoln calls for increase of the regular army by ten regiments - 22,714 men- for 42,034 three - year volunteers, and the enlistment of 18,000 men for the Navy.

May 10.   Lincoln directs suspension of writ of hebeas corpus on Florida Coast.

May 24.   Lincoln weeps openly upon learning of the death of his young friend, Col. E. E. Ellsworth, shot by the proprietor of Marshall House in Alexandria, Virginia, after he had removed a Confederate flag flying over the building.

June 3.   Lincoln directs thirty days of mourning for Stephen A. Douglas, who dies in Chicago at the age of forty-eight. Douglas's "Preserve the Flag" address to the Illinois legislature on April 25 had united Illinois and encouraged thousands to enlist in the Union Army.

July 2.   Lincoln authorizes Gen. Scott to suspend writ of hebeas corpus along military line between New York and Washington.

July 4.   Lincoln's war message is communicated to Congress as a formal government document.

July 21.   In the evening Lincoln learns from Secretary Seward that Gen. Irvin McDowell's army has been badly defeated at Bull Run.

July 27.   Lincoln calls Gen. George B. McClellan to the White House and places him in command of all troops in vicinity of Washington.

Aug. 16.   Lincoln issues proclamation forbidding intercourse with states in insurrection against the government of the United States.

Sept. 11.   President orders gen. Fremont to modify his emancipation proclamation of Aug. 30 to conform to act of Congress of Aug. 6, 1861. This angers the antislavery faction but preserves the border states' allegiance to the Union.

Oct. 21.   Lincoln learns of death of Col. Edward D. Baker at battle of Ball's Bluff. Both the President and Mrs. Lincoln are deeply grieved by the death of his old friend for whom they had named their second son.

Nov. 1.   Cabinet accepts resignation of Gen. Winfield Scott. Lincoln informs Gen. McClellan, "I have designated you to command the whole army."

Nov. 23.   Lincoln and Secretary Seward on steamer Mount Washington visit the Union flotilla on Potomac River.

Nov. 24.   Lincoln holds conference at War Department with members of cabinet and several senators concerning Mason and Slidell, Confederate commissioners to Great Britain and France, who were seized on British steamer Trent.

Dec. 3.   Lincoln sends annual message to Congress.

Dec. 25.   Cabinet meets in lengthy session on "Trent Affair." The following day a decision is reached to release the men. Lincoln considers the "affair has been settled amicably." In the evening the Lincolns entertain a large number of guests at Christmas dinner.


Jan. 11.   Lincoln accepts Secretary of War Cameron's resignation and offers him the post of minister to Russia, which is accepted. On Jan. 13, Edwin M. Stanton is named the new Secretary of War.

Jan. 31.   Lincoln issues Special War Order No. 1 directing Army of the Potomac "to move before, or on, the 22nd. Day of February next."

Feb. 6, 16.   Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland are surrendered to Union forces under General Grant, giving the northern armies their first victories.

Feb. 14.   Lincoln issues Executive Order No. 1 relating to political prisoners.

Feb. 20.   William Wallace (Wille) Lincoln dies. He is the second son the Lincolns have lost.

Feb. 26.   Lincoln, by military order pursuant to act of Congress, takes over all telegraph lines.

Mar. 8.   Lincoln issues General War Order No. 2 and General War Order No. 3.The first orders that McClellan organize the Army of the Potomac into four army corps, and the second, that sufficient forces be left in and about Washington to make it entirely secure.

Mar. 9.   Lincoln learns that the Confederate ironclad Merrimac, which had destroyed Northern ships at Hampton Roads, has been forced to retire by Union ironclad Monitor.

Apr. 1.   Lincoln goes to Alexandria, Va., to see General McClellan, who is beginning a four - month campaign on the Virginia Peninsula.

Apr. 6 - 7.   Gen. Grant's Union forces and Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's Confederate forces clash at Pittsburgh Landing (Shiloh), Tenn., with serious losses to both armies.

Apr. 25.   Secretary Welles informs Lincoln that New Orleans has been captured by Adm. David G. Farragut's Northern naval expedition.

May 5 - 12.   Lincoln makes trip to Fortress Monroe, Va., for conferences with military and naval leaders.

May 15.   Lincoln approves act establishing the Department of Agriculture.

May 19.   Lincoln voids Gen. Hunter's Order no. 11 freeing slaves in Department of the South.

May 20.   Lincoln approves Homestead Law which grants homesteads to actual settlers on public domain.

May 22 - 23.   Lincoln visits army at Fredericksburg, Va.

June 1.   Gen. Robert E. Lee succeeds Gen. Joseph E Johnston as commander of Confederate Army of Northern Virgina after Johnston is wounded in battle with McClellan's forces at Fair Oaks Station.

June 23 - 25.   Lincoln travels by train to New York and West Point for conference with Gen. Winfield Scott.

June 26.   Lincoln issues order combining forces under Gens. Freemont, Banks, and McDowell into a new Army of Virgina under command of Gen. John Pope.

July 1.   Lincoln calls into military service 300,00 volunteers and approves act providing for a tax of three percent on incomes in excess of $600.

July 2.   Lincoln approves Morrill Land Grand College Act donating public lands to states and territories for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts.

July 7 - 10.    Lincoln takes boat to Fortress Monroe and Harrison's Landing Va., to visit General McClellan and other army and navy leaders.

July 11.    Lincoln names General Henry W. Halleck general-in-chief of all land forces.

July 17.    Lincoln signs "an act to suppress insurrection, and to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes." Congress authorizes conscription, and acceptance of Negroes into military and naval services.

Aug. 9.    Lincoln orders a draft of 300,000 militia to serve for nine months.

Aug. 22.    In answer to Horace Greeley's critical editorial, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," Lincoln writes "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery."

Aug. 30.    Northern forces under Gen. Pope are defeated by Bull Run. Lincoln feels Gen. McClellan "wanted Pope defeated."

Sept. 2.    Lincoln places McClellan in "command of the fortification of Washington, and of all the troops for the defense of the Capital."

Sept. 17.    Gen. Robert E. Lee's northern invasion is stopped by McClellan at the battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, Md.

Sept. 22.    Lincoln reads to his cabinet and issues his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation which frees slaves of rebels, effective Jan. 1, 1863.

Sept. 24.    Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus as it applies to "all Rebels and Insurgents" arrested by military authority.

Oct. 1 - 4.   Lincoln visits Gen. McClellan at headquarters of the Army of the Potomac and battlefields in vicinity of Antietam.

Nov. 5.    Lincoln replaces Gen. McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac with Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.

Nov. 26 - 27.    Lincoln makes trip to Aquia Creek, Va., and confers with Gen. Burnside on steamer Baltimore.

Dec. 1.   Lincoln send second annual message to Congress.

Dec. 12.   Gen. Burnside's Army of the Potomac is defeated at Fredericksburg, Va.

Dec. 31.   Lincoln reluctantly approves bill admitting West Virginia to the union.


Jan. 1.   Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation declaring slaves held in the states in rebellion free.

Feb. 25.    Lincoln approves act establishing system of national banks.

Apr. 4 - 10.    Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln, and Tad visit Gen. Joseph Hooker at headquarters of the Army of the Potomac at Falmouth, Va.

May 2 - 4.    The army of the Potomac under gen. Hooker is defeated at Chancellorsville, Va.

May 6 - 7.    Lincoln visits Gen. Hooker and the Army of the Potomac.

June 27.    Lincoln relieves Gen. Hooker of command of the Army of Potomac and replaces him with Gen. George G. Meade.

July 1 -3.    The Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania under Lee is defeated by gen. Meade at Gettysburg.

July 4.    Gen. Grant's long siege of Vicksburg come to an end with the surrender of the Confederate under Gen. John C. Pemberton.

July 30.    Lincoln prepares an order of retaliation: "That for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on public works," which he issued July 31 by the Adjutant General as General Order No. 252.

Sept. 18.    Lincoln orders Army discharge for William ("Duff") Armstrong, whom he had successfully defended in a murder trial in 1858.

Sept. 20.    Northern Army is defeated at Chickamauga Creek. This is later offset by victory at Chattanooga on Nov. 25.

Oct. 1.    Lincoln sets forth in detail Gen. Schofield's duties as commander in Missouri.

Oct. 3.    Lincoln proclaims the first national observance of Thanksgiving, to be held Nov. 26.

Nov. 19.    Lincoln delivers his dedicatory address at the National Cemetery at Gettyburg, Pa.

Nov. 21.    Lincoln is ill with mild case of smallpox.

Dec. 8.    Lincoln issues a proclamation of amnesty of Confederates who take the oath to support the U.S. Constitution.

Dec. 9.    Lincoln's annual message is read to both houses of Congress.


Feb. 22.    Lincoln receives endorsement of Republican national Committee by majority of four to one.

Mar. 9.    Lincoln presents commission as lieutenant general to Gen. Grant in Cabinet chamber. The following day he appoints Grant commander - in - chief of the armies.

Mar. 14.    Lincoln issues a call and orders the draft of 200,000 men for military service.

Apr. 18 - 19.    Lincoln attends opening of Maryland Sanitary Commission Fair at Baltimore and delivers a fifteen - minute speech.

May 5 - 12.    Union armies under Grant and Southern armies under Lee are engaged in constant battle in Virginia Wilderness.

June 8.    The national Union Party convention, meeting in Baltimore, nominates Lincoln for President and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee for Vice - President.

June 16 - 17.     Lincoln attends Great Central Fair in Philadelphia.

June 20 - 23.    Lincoln visits Gen. Grant at City Point, Va.

June 28.    Lincoln approves act repealing the Fugitive Slave Law.

June 30.    Lincoln accepts resignation of Secretary Chase, and the following day nominates William P. Fessenden as the new Secretary of Treasury.

July 4.    Lincoln pocket - vetoes the "Wade Davis" reconstruction bill.

July 11.     Lincoln see his only military action of the war as the Confederate attack Fort Stevens on the outskirts of Washington.

July 18.     Lincoln gives call for 500,000 volunteers.

July 30 - 31.    Lincoln visits Gen. Grant at Fortress Monroe, Va.

Sept. 1.   Gen. William T. Sherman's Union forces occupy Atlanta, a northern victory which helps insure Lincoln's re-election.

Oct. 21.    Lincoln tenders thanks of nation of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan for successfully conclusion of Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

Oct. 31.    Lincoln issues proclamation admitting Nevada into the Union.

Nov. 8.    Lincoln is re-elected President, easily defeating his Democratic opponent George B. McClellan.

Nov. 21.    Lincoln writes his famous letter of sympathy to Mrs. Lydia Bixby.

Dec. 1.   Because of the resignation of Attorney General bates, Lincoln appoints James Speed in his place.

Dec. 6.    Lincoln sends his fourth annual message to Congress.

Dec. 19.    Lincoln issues call for 300,000 volunteers.

Dec. 22.    Lincoln receives the capture of Savannah, Ga., as a Christmas gift" from gen. Sherman.


Feb. 1.    Lincoln approves resolution submitting Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, to the states.

Feb. 3.    Lincoln conducts peace conference for four hours with Confederate representatives on board the River Queen in Hampton Roads, Va.

Mar. 3.    Lincoln approves act establishing the Freedmen's Bureau for care of Negroes.

Mar. 4.    Lincoln delivers his Second Inaugural Address, "with malice towards none; with charity for all."

Mar. 11.    Lincoln issues proclamation offering pardon to deserters who return to service and inflicting loss of citizenship on those who do not.

Mar. 23 - Apr. 6.    Lincoln visits Gen. Grant at City Point,, Va.

Apr. 4 - 5.    Lincoln visits the evacuated city of Richmond, Va.

Apr. 9.    Gen. Lee surrenders to Gen. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Va.

April 11.   From a window of the White House, Lincoln in his last speech, discusses status of Confederate states and his plan for restoring then to the Union.

Apr. 14.    Lincoln is shot by actor John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre.

Apr. 15.    Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 a.m. in the home of William Petersen.

Apr. 19.    Funeral services for the President are held in the White House.

Apr. 21.    The Lincoln funeral train makes its first stop after leaving Washington at Baltimore. After a brief stop at York, Pennsylvania, it arrived at Harrisburg in the evening.

Apr. 22.    The funeral train arrives in Philadelphia. The body is conveyed to Independence hall.

Apr. 24.    Leaving Philadelphia early in the morning, the funeral train arrives in New York at 10:00 a.m. and the body is taken to city hall.

Apr. 25.    Leaving New York at 4:15 p.m. the funeral train arrives in East Albany at 10:55 p.m. The remains are escorted to the Capitol in Albany.

Apr. 27.    Funeral train arrives in Buffalo, New York. the body is carried to St. James Hall.

Apr. 28.    Funeral train arrives in Cleveland, Ohio. The body is escorted to specially built temple in City Park.

Apr. 29.   Funeral train arrives at Columbus, Ohio.

Apr. 30.    Funeral train arrives in Indianapolis, Indiana. The remains are borne to the statehouse.

May 1.   Funeral train arrives in Chicago. The remains are taken to the court house.

May 3.    The funeral train reaches its destination in Springfield, Illinois at 9:00 a.m. The body is escorted to statehouse.

May 4.   Lincoln is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield. He leaves a net estate of $110,296.80 to his widow and two sons. Lincoln's body is moved from the public receiving vault on Dec. 21, 1865 to a temporary vault, and on Sept. 19, 1871 to a crypt in a partially completed tomb.


July 14.   Congress grants Mrs. Lincoln an annual pension of $3000. On Jan. 16, 1882, this is increased to $5,000, plus a gift of $15,000.


July 15.   Thomas "Tad" Lincoln dies of dropsy of chest, in Chicago. His burial takes place in Lincoln Tomb, Springfield.


Oct. 15 .    The National Lincoln Monument Association, organized May 11, 1865, dedicates the partially completed Lincoln Tomb designed by Larkin G. Mead, Jr. President Ulysses S. Grant speaks briefly and the principal address is delivered by Ex-Governor Richard J. Oglesby.


Nov. 7.    Three men attempt to steal Lincoln's body. Frightened away from Tomb by secret service agents, they are later captured in Chicago, Tried in Springfield for burglary, they are sentenced to one year in penitentiary.


July 16.    Mrs. Lincoln dies in the Springfield home of her sister, Mrs. Ninian W. Edwards - the same home where she and Lincoln were married. She is buried in the Lincoln Tomb with her husband and three of their four sons.


June 16.   Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln present the Lincoln Home in Springfield to the state of Illinois. The first floor is then opened to public


July 26.   Robert T. Lincoln dies and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Five years earlier he had left his father's papers on deposit in the Library of Congress. Sealed until twenty-one years after his death, they are made public July 26, 1947.


June 17.   The remodeled Lincoln Tomb is rededicated by President Herbert Hoover. It has previously been rebuilt in1900 - 1901.


Feb. 12.   The entire Lincoln Home is restored to the appearance of the period when the Lincolns lived there, and the second floor opened for the first time to public.