|923 Douglass Drive
McLean, VA 22101
March 3, 2006
Dear Museum Board,
There was a terrible problem in the 1800s; a problem that made people into property and created a civil war between the states. This problem was enslavement of the African Americans. During the time of this, there was a president named Abraham Lincoln who fought and was one of the ones who ended slavery. Of course, abolishing slavery, an institution that half of the United States believed in was easier said than done.
Even before Lincoln was president, he had strong opinions about slavery. He thought that everyone was created equally and slavery was unconstitutional. In his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, he was a lawyer. Later, during 1846, Lincoln became elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Being successful there, he ran against Steven A. Douglass for the Senate. The debates between him and Douglass helped show the public his thoughts and feelings on slavery. Sadly, Lincoln did not win. The small loss with the Senate didn’t discourage Abe because he ran for the election for president in 1859. From the debates with Douglass, people had heard that Lincoln didn’t just care about Illinois, but the whole country. This resulted positively in him being elected president of the United States of America.
The North and South of the U.S. been arguing with each other about slavery. By the time that Lincoln had been inaugurated, seven states had seceded from the nation. The south had needed slavery for their farms and plantations but the north didn’t need slavery because they were mainly made up of factories. Each side had seemed like a threat to the other. President Lincoln had sent supplies down to Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor in case of a threat. The south had shot on the fort and the war had started.
The U.S. was ripping itself apart because of slavery, but in the epicenter of the war, Abraham Lincoln was still doing all that he could do to end it. One of the things that he had to do most often was finding new, capable generals to lead the Northern Army. Lincoln went through five before finding General Ulysses S. Grant who helped end the war. After the bloody battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln made the Gettysburg Address, which honored the soldiers that had died in that three-day battle. Another document that Abe made was the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. This officially stated that slavery was illegal and led to the 13th amendment, which was the freeing of slaves.
After the war, the United States was paralyzed from the war. Lincoln helped change this for the better by doing several things. Since the war had ended, the southern states had no government and were all as a whole under the power of the Union. Abe set up new loyal governments and appointed governors for the states. It was like having to make a whole new leadership for half of the country. He also made the 13th amendment in 1865 that freed all slaves from the rebellious states. The time that this was happening was called “The Reconstruction Period” because the country was pulling itself back together after the war. Sadly, on April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot and died the next day.
Because of all the things that Abraham Lincoln had done, I strongly believe that he should be let into the museum. Without him, we might still have slavery right now and still be in a civil war with ourselves. This amazing man ended a civil war in our country, ended slavery, and brought our nation back together. Truly, without President Lincoln and all of the stands that he took, our entire country would not be the same.