chapter
Garrison, William Lloyd
Pages 11

The accomplishments that have made Abraham Lincoln a venerated figure in national lore are familiar to most Americans: As the sixteenth president of the United States from March 1861 to his assassination in April 1865, he balanced the plight of slaves against the danger of a sundered Union by ending human bondage while winning the Civil War. Lincoln enlisted in a local militia during the Black Hawk War of 1832, but his company did not see any action and Lincoln returned to New Salem by June of that year. Douglas and Breckinridge represented separated factions within the divided Democratic Party, while Bell ran as a third-party candidate on the Constitutional Union ticket. The campaign revolved around the expansion of slavery. While Southerners feared that Lincoln was a Black Republican who would abolish slavery immediately upon taking office, the Illinoisan reasserted his years-long position: he opposed the spread of slavery to new territories but let it stand where already in place.