Activity #1: Stovepipe Hat Word Search
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in the State of Kentucky. He moved to Indiana when he was nine years old, and then to Illinois when he was 21 years old. When Abe was young, the United States was growing very fast because many people were moving here from other countries; this is called immigration. They came because our country was a "land of opportunity", and because we allowed religious and political liberty.
By the 1840s, the American people began to believe that God had given us the whole land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to be our own; this idea was called "Manifest Destiny." When gold was discovered in California, this caused even more people to move west and fill up the land.
There was a problem, however. Ever since our nation began, States in the south had allowed slavery while those in the north had not. The boundary between the free States and the slave States was called the Mason-Dixon Line.
In the election for President in 1860, Mr. Lincoln's main opponent, Stephen Douglas, believed that each State should be able to decide for itself whether to allow slavery. Mr. Lincoln wanted to contain slavery to those States where it already existed, with the hope that it would eventually end. Mr. Lincoln was elected President, but soon most of the slave States seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America, resulting in the Civil War. People in the North called the people in the South "rebels."
President Lincoln worked hard to end the war and bring the Union back together. He also had to keep the country of England, which used the cotton grown in the American south, from fighting for the Confederacy. The most famous Confederate general was Robert E. Lee. The Union general who finally defeated him was Ulysses S. Grant. President Lincoln freed the slaves in the South by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
Mr. Lincoln was a Christian and he often referred to God and quoted from the Bible in his speeches and letters. For example, he used Jesus' saying that "A house divided against itself cannot stand" to explain that our nation couldn't continue on half free and half slave. He also made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Near the end of the war, Mr. Lincoln said that God punished us with the war because we allowed slavery to exist in our nation (see Second Inaugural Address).
President Lincoln's wife was Mary Todd. The Lincolns had four sons: Robert, Edward, William, and Thomas, who was nicknamed "Tad." President Lincoln himself was known as "Honest Abe."
After crossing out these same words in Mr. Lincoln's stovepipe hat,
President Lincoln's goal was to PRESERVE the Union.
[Feb. 12, 2005: I just found, and corrected, an error with one of the
unused letters in the hat.