Lincoln's Home with red, white and blue bunting


Quick Facts

Springfield, Illinois
National Historic Site

It is important to remember Abraham Lincoln’s deeds and words. President Lincoln could have chosen to allow the original seven seceding states to leave the Union. He could have compromised and allowed slavery to expand to some or all of the western states, or even the whole United States so the seven states would change their mind about secession. He could have retracted his statement that slavery was morally wrong and should be put on a course of ultimate extinction, therefore, removing the statement that insulted so many in the seceding states. He didn’t have to call for 75,000 volunteers to put down the insurrection after Fort Sumter was fired upon. He could have continued to fight the Civil War without issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. He could have, as many recommend, rescinded the Emancipation Proclamation when the War was going poorly for the United States of America. He could have agreed to an end of the Civil War leaving the slaves in bondage. He didn’t have to use all the might of office of President to influence congressmen to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlawing slavery. In each of these situations Abraham Lincoln had a choice; Lincoln always chose saving the union with the purity of its principles.

Abraham Lincoln believed in the ideal that everyone in America should have the opportunity to improve his/her economic and social condition.  Lincoln’s life was the embodiment of that idea.  We know him as the sixteenth president, but he was also a spouse, parent, and neighbor who experienced the same hopes, dreams, and challenges of life that are still experienced by many people.

Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Lincoln Home every year to learn more about the man who fought for the ideals of freedom and democracy. Even during Lincoln's life, when he was an attorney turned president-elect, people came to Springfield at Eighth and Jackson Street to learn more about Lincoln, his family, and his home. At Lincoln Home National Historic Site you can follow in the footsteps of the father, husband, lawyer, and statesman who led the nation through the turbulent Civil War, and inspired him to turn the war into a "new birth of freedom."

Content used with permission Guidebook to The American Civil Rights Experience from Eastern National.