A TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS
Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are two of the most famous presidents in United States history. They both served two terms in office during their own time and are memorialized today by statues, U.S. currency, and Mount Rushmore. Both presidents had many things in common as well as their differences.
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the first-born child of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington. He had two older siblings and five younger siblings. He belonged to a wealthy family. George’s father died when George was eleven years old. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 and was the second child to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln, in Hardin County, Kentucky. The family was not wealthy. He was nine when his mother died. His father remarried to Sarah Bush Johnston, whom Lincoln liked and called her mother. He had an older sister named Sarah Grigsby. Lincoln grew up to be 6 feet 4 inches in height, while Washington was 6 feet 2 inches tall. Throughout his life Lincoln avoided hunting and fishing because he did not like killing animals, while Washington’s favorite activity was fox hunting. Lincoln served as New Salem's postmaster for sometime until he became a country lawyer and an Illinois state legislator while Washington started his career as a tobacco farmer and plantation owner. Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd who belonged to a wealthy slaveholding family in Lexington, Kentucky on November 4, 1842. He had four sons, but unfortunately only the first-born son lived to adulthood. Washington married Martha Custis who was a rich widow on January 6, 1759. She had two children whom Washington adopted. George Washington was a hardcore military man. From 1775 to 1781 he fought from several fronts. He delivered the final blow to the British in 1781. On December 23, 1783, he resigned his commission as commander-in-chief. Abraham Lincoln's military exposure was limited to serving as a Captain in the Black Hawk War, in a non-combat role. The most significant contribution of George Washington was that he led America's Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War, playing a major role in America's independence and the subsequent formation of the United States. Americans see him as the "Father of Our Country". Lincoln and another legislator declared that slavery was "founded on both injustice and bad policy." This was the first time he publicly opposed slavery. In 1846 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served one two-year term. As President, Lincoln successfully led the United States through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the 13th Amendment that resulted in the abolition of slavery. Washington presided over the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787. His support convinced many, including the Virginia legislature, to vote for ratification; the new Constitution was ratified by all 13 states. His unilateral Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793 provided a basis for avoiding any involvement in foreign conflicts. Washington passed the Fugitive Slave Clause law in 1793, which made assisting an escaped slave a federal crime. On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. George Washington died while getting treatment for pneumonia on December 14, 1799, at age 67. Lincoln's name and image appear in numerous places. These include the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The $5 bill and the penny depict his face. George Washington’s face appears on the one-dollar bill and the quarter coin, and on U.S. postage stamps. The Confederate Seal features him on horseback. The nation's capital, Washington D.C, is named after him, as is Washington State.
In conclusion, both presidents helped the United States grow and also flourish into the nation that we are today.