Before becoming the President, what profession was Abraham Lincoln engaged in?

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By Laurie Baratti

Abraham Lincoln as the 16th U.S. President

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from 1861 until his elimination in 1865. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American leaders in history, primarily due to his role in ending slavery and preserving the Union during the Civil War. However, before he became President, Lincoln was engaged in various professions that helped him develop the skills and experience necessary for his later political career.

Lincoln’s early life and education

Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809. He was the second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who were both farmers. Lincoln’s family moved to Indiana when he was seven years old, and he grew up in a log cabin in the wilderness. Despite his limited formal education, Lincoln was an avid reader and self-taught learner, and he was known for his intelligence and wit.

Lincoln’s first job as a store clerk

At the age of 19, Lincoln moved to New Salem, Illinois, where he worked as a store clerk. This was his first job in the business world, and it gave him an opportunity to interact with customers and learn about commerce. Although he was not very successful as a store clerk and the business eventually failed, Lincoln gained valuable experience and knowledge that would help him in his future endeavors.

Lincoln’s career as a surveyor

After his stint as a store clerk, Lincoln became a surveyor. He learned surveying from his mentor, John Calhoun, and worked with him on several projects in Illinois. Surveying required precision and attention to detail, and it helped Lincoln develop his analytical and problem-solving skills. He also gained practical knowledge about land, which would be useful in his future career as a lawyer.

Lincoln as a postmaster in New Salem

In addition to his work as a surveyor, Lincoln also served as the postmaster in New Salem for several years. This position gave him the opportunity to interact with the local community and gain political experience. He was known for his honesty and efficiency as a postmaster, and he used his position to promote economic development in the area.

Lincoln’s law career and political aspirations

Lincoln’s interest in politics began to grow during his time as a postmaster. He also became interested in the law and began studying it on his own. In 1836, he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in Springfield, Illinois. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled lawyer and a talented speaker, and he became involved in the Whig Party.

Lincoln’s election to Illinois legislature

In 1834, Lincoln was elected to the Illinois legislature as a member of the Whig Party. This was his first elected office, and it gave him a platform to promote his political ideas. He quickly became known for his opposition to slavery, and he worked to pass laws that would limit its spread in Illinois.

Lincoln’s tenure in U.S. House of Representatives

In 1846, Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a member of the Whig Party. He served for one term, during which he opposed the Mexican-American War and supported Henry Clay’s compromise on slavery. Although he was not very influential in Congress, his time there helped him gain national recognition and build his political career.

Lincoln’s return to law practice

After his tenure in Congress, Lincoln returned to his law practice in Springfield. He became one of the most respected lawyers in the state, and he continued to be involved in politics. He also became more involved in the Republican Party, which was formed in the 1850s to oppose the expansion of slavery.

Lincoln’s views on slavery and the Civil War

Lincoln’s opposition to slavery was a central part of his political ideology. He believed that slavery was morally wrong, and he argued that it violated the principles of the Declaration of Independence. When he was elected President in 1860, he made it clear that he would work to end slavery in the United States. The issue of slavery eventually led to the Civil War, which Lincoln led the Union to victory in.

Lincoln’s presidency and legacy

Lincoln’s presidency was characterized by his leadership during the Civil War and his efforts to end slavery. He also signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were free. Although he did not live to see the full impact of his actions, his legacy as a great American leader has endured.

Conclusion: Remembering Abraham Lincoln’s contributions

Abraham Lincoln’s contributions to American history are numerous and significant. He was a skilled lawyer, a talented politician, and a visionary leader who helped end slavery and preserve the Union. His legacy has inspired generations of Americans to strive for equality and justice, and he remains one of the most beloved and respected figures in U.S. history.

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Laurie Baratti

Laurie Baratti, a renowned San Diego journalist, has contributed to respected publications like TravelAge West, SPACE, Modern Home + Living, Montage, and Sandals Life. She's a passionate travel writer, constantly exploring beyond California. Besides her writing, Laurie is an avid equestrian and dedicated pet owner. She's a strong advocate for the Oxford comma, appreciating the richness of language.

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