Abraham Lincoln, byname Honest Abe, the Rail-Splitter, or the Great Emancipator, (born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S.—died April 15, 1865, Washington, D.C.), 16th president of the United States (1861–65), who preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of the slaves.
Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique appeal for his fellow countrymen and also for people of other lands. This charm derives from his remarkable life story—the rise from humble origins, the dramatic death—and from his distinctively human and humane personality as well as from his historical role as saviour of the Union and emancipator of the slaves. His relevance endures and grows especially because of his eloquence as a spokesman for democracy. In his view, the Union was worth saving not only for its own sake but because it embodied an ideal, the ideal of self-government. In recent years, the political side to Lincoln’s character, and his racial views in particular, have come under close scrutiny, as scholars continue to find him a rich subject for research. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated to him on May 30, 1922. (Continue reading from Britannica)
The most lasting accomplishments attributed to Lincoln are the preservation of the Union, the vindication of democracy, and the death of slavery, all accomplished by the ways in which he handled the crisis that most certainly would have ended differently with a lesser man in office. His great achievement, historians tell us, was his ability to energize and mobilize the nation by appealing to its best ideals while acting "with malice towards none" in the pursuit of a more perfect, more just, and more enduring Union. No President in American history ever faced a greater crisis and no President ever accomplished as much. (Continue reading from The Miller Center, University of VA)