Abraham Lincoln Timeline

Abraham Lincoln Timeline in Chronological Order

1809Feb 12. Abraham Lincoln is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
1816Lincoln’s family moves to southern Indiana.
1818Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, dies.
1830Lincoln’s family moves to Illinois.
1831Lincoln moves to New Salem, Illinois, and begins work as a clerk in a general store.
1832Lincoln serves in the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War.
1834Aug 4. Lincoln is elected to the Illinois State Legislature.
1837Lincoln is admitted to the bar and begins practicing law in Springfield, Illinois.
1842Nov 4. Lincoln marries Mary Todd.
1846Aug 3. Lincoln is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed, allowing slavery in new territories.

Oct 16. Lincoln delivers his “Peoria Speech,” opposing the expansion of slavery.

1856Lincoln joins the newly formed Republican Party.
1858Jun 16. Lincoln runs for U.S. Senate against Stephen Douglas, participating in a series of famous debates.
1860Nov 6. Lincoln is elected President of the United States, representing the Republican Party.

Mar 4. Lincoln is inaugurated as President.

Apr 12. Confederate forces attack Fort Sumter, beginning the Civil War.


Feb 16. Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant capture the Confederate stronghold of Fort Donelson.

May 20. Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, granting land to settlers in the western United States.

Sep 22. Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, warning that all slaves in the Confederate states will be freed if the Confederacy does not surrender by January 1, 1863.


Jan 1. The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect, declaring that all slaves in Confederate-held territory are free.

Jul 1-3. The Battle of Gettysburg is fought, with Union forces defeating the Confederates.

Nov 19. Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at a ceremony to dedicate the battlefield as a national cemetery.

Dec 8. Lincoln signs the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, offering a pardon to Confederate soldiers who pledged loyalty to the Union.


Nov 8. Lincoln is re-elected President, defeating General George B. McClellan.

Dec 21. Sherman captures Savannah, Georgia, completing his March to the Sea campaign.


Jan 31. The House of Representatives passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery.

Mar 4. Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term.

Apr 9. Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War.

Apr 14. Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Apr 15. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President upon Lincoln’s death.