Abraham Lincoln: A glimpse of history
Former U.S. Rep. Abraham Lincoln defeated four candidates in 1861 to claim the presidency. In 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, the embattled president issued a preliminary decree stating that unless the rebellious states returned to the Union by Jan. 1, freedom would be granted to slaves in those states. No Confederate states took the offer. On Jan. 1, 1863, Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation, which did not free all slaves but rather declared free those slaves living in states that had seceded from the Union. Lincoln was re-elected president Nov. 8, 1864, but less than six months later he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
A drawing illustrates the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, by actor John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln was shot in the head while attending the comedy, "Our American Cousin," at Ford's Theatre in Washington. Four people were hanged after being convicted of conspiring with Booth.