1809:Feb.12: born near Hodgenville, Kentucky

1816: Moves with family to near Pigeon Creek, Indiana

1828/1831: Flatboat trips to New Orleans (during which he may have reflected on slavery)

1830: Moves with family to west of Decatur, Illinois

1831: Moves to New Salem, Illinois

1832: Captain of militia in Black Hawk War (sees no action)

1834–1842: Member of Illinois House of Representatives

1836: Licensed to practice law

1837: Moves to Springfield, Illinois

1842:Nov. 4: Marries Mary Todd. They bear four sons: Robert (1843–1926), Edward (1846–1850), William (1850–1862), and Thomas (“Tad”; 1853–1871)

1846: Handbill during Congressional campaign denies rumor that Lincoln has ever spoken against Scripture, “religion in general, or … any denomination of Christians in particular”

1847–1849: U.S. Representative from Illinois

1851: During his father’s last illness, asks step-brother to urge his father “to call upon, and confide in, our great, and good, and merciful Maker; who will not turn away from him in any extremity.”

1854: Passage of Kansas-Nebraska Act (repealing earlier restrictions on slave extension) rekindles Lincoln’s interest in national politics

1858: Debates with Stephen A. Douglas in race for U.S. Senate seat from Illinois; employs many biblical references and several times corrects Douglas’s inaccurate use of the Bible

1860: Delivers speech in New York that propels him to forefront of Republican party; May: nominated Republican candidate for president; Nov.: elected president (with minority of popular votes) in election with three other candidates

1861: Leaves Springfield after stirring address at train depot, including these words: “Without the assistance of that Divine Being … I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail”; ...

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