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Lincoln's Biography

Fast Facts

Where and when was Abraham Lincoln born?

February 12, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky. See the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site for more information.
Did he have any brothers and/or sisters?
Yes. His sister, Sarah, was born on February 10, 1807 and died in childbirth on January 20, 1828, along with her child. His brother Thomas died in infancy in 1812.

Abraham Lincoln's father, Thomas Lincoln, married Sarah Bush Johnston on December 2, 1819, after the October 15, 1818 death of Abraham and Sarah's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln had three children from her previous marriage: John, Matilda and Elizabeth (Abraham's step-brother and step-sisters.)

When, where and to whom did he marry?
November 4, 1842 in Springfield, Illinois to Mary Todd. Mary Todd was born in Lexington, Kentucky on December 13, 1818. For more about their marriage, see "The Day Miss Todd Became Mrs. Lincoln".

Did they have any children?

Yes.
1. Robert Todd Lincoln was born August 1, 1843 in Springfield, Illinois and he died July 25, 1926 at his home in Manchester, Vermont.
2. Edward Baker Lincoln was born March 10, 1846 in Springfield, Illinois and died on February 1, 1850.
3. William Wallace Lincoln, known as "Willie," was born December 21, 1850 and died in the White House on February 20, 1862.
4. Thomas Lincoln, nicknamed "Tad," was born April 4, 1853 and died in Chicago of tuberculosis on July 15, 1871.

Are there any direct descendants of Abraham Lincoln?

No. Robert Todd Lincoln, the only son to reach adulthood and marry, had three children: Mary, Abraham and Jessie. Mary's only child, Lincoln Isham, had no children. Abraham lived from 1873-1890 and had no children. Jessie had two children, Mary Beckwith and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, neither of which had any children.

Did Abraham Lincoln have any military service?
Lincoln's military service began and ended in 1832:
  • 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).

Brief migration and residency history of Abraham Lincoln:

1809 — Born in Hardin County, Kentucky
1811 — Moved to a farm on Knob Creek, Kentucky, a few miles away from his birthplace.
1816 — Moved to a farm in Indiana, in what is now Lincoln City, Indiana.
1830 — Moved to an area west of Decatur, Illinois.
1831 — After piloting a flatboat to New Orleans, Abraham settles in New Salem, Illinois.
1837 — Moved to Springfield, Illinois.
1842 — Abraham and Mary Todd moved into the Globe Tavern in Springfield.
1844 — Abraham and Mary Todd moved into the only home they ever owned in 1844, located in Springfield, Illinois. To learn more about this home, please visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
1847 — Resided in Washington, D.C., while a U.S. Representative (until 1849).
1861 — Moved to the White House

Brief political history of Abraham Lincoln:

1832 — Ran for the Illinois legislature; defeated.
1834 — Ran for the Illinois legislature and was elected Representative for Sangamon County.
1836 — Re-elected Representative to the Illinois legislature.
1838 — Re-elected Representative to the Illinois legislature.
1840 — Re-elected Representative to the Illinois legislature.
1846 — Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1854 — Elected to the Illinois legislature; resigned to run for U.S. Senate; defeated.
1858 — Ran for U.S. Senate; defeated.
1860 — Ran for President of the United States and was elected.
1864 — Re-elected President of the United States.
Where, when and how did he die?

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., where Abraham and Mary Todd were attending the play Our American Cousin. He died at 7:22 a.m. the following day, April 15th, at the Peterson Boarding House across the street from Ford's Theatre.

For additional details, see the Chronology.

©Copyright 2000 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project