Migration

Migration

“From this place, he [Thomas Lincoln] removed to what is now Spencer county Indiana, in the autumn of 1816, A.[braham] then being in his eighth year.” — Lincoln autobiography, 1860 Abraham Lincoln’s North American ancestry dates back at least seven generations. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, his ancestors moved from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania to…

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Free Labor

“When he was nineteen, still residing in Indiana, he made his first trip upon a flat-boat to New-Orleans. He was a hired hand merely.” — Lincoln autobiography, 1860 In 1858, South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond declared that every society needed a class of people “with a low order of intellect and but little skill”…

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Antislavery

“They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy, but that the promulgation of Abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.” — Lincoln legislative protest on slavery, 1837 During the early nineteenth century, citizens of Illinois were divided about whether slavery should be legal in their…

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Black Hawk War

“A[braham]. joined a volunteer company, and to his own surprize, was elected captain of it. He says he has not since had any success in life which gave him so much satisfaction.” — Lincoln autobiography, 1860 During the 1810s and 1820s Indians had been pushed west by military actions, treaty agreements, legislation, and migration of…

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Mexican War

“All the battles of the Mexican war had been fought before Mr. L. took his seat in congress, but the American army was still in Mexico …” — Lincoln autobiography, 1860 Sectional tensions rose to the surface of American politics during the 1840s, as the international frontier moved far from the Old Northwest. The United…

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Slavery’s Future

“In 1854, his profession had almost superseded the thought of politics in his mind, when the repeal of the Missouri compromise aroused him as he had never been before.” — Lincoln autobiography, 1860 The smoldering conflict over slavery’s expansion became ignited in January 1854 by Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas’s proposal to organize the Nebraska…

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