Test your knowledge of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln

By: Scott Nordlund
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and American politician who served as the 16th president of the United States. Test your knowledge and see how much you know about "Honest Abe."

When was Abraham Lincoln born?

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and New York observe the holiday. In other states, Lincoln's birthday is not celebrated separately, as a stand-alone holiday. Instead, Lincoln's birthday is combined with a celebration of President George Washington's birthday, also in February, and celebrated either as Washington's birthday or as Presidents' Day, and on the third Monday of February, simultaneously with the Federal holiday, instead of Washington's or Lincoln's actual birthday,

Where was Abraham Lincoln born?

Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809. Lincoln grew up on the western frontier in Kentucky and Indiana.

Abraham Lincoln practiced what profession before becoming a politician?

Abraham Lincoln became a lawyer in Illinois. He was largely self-educated. He officially became a lawyer on Sept. 9, 1836,

Who did Lincoln marry on November 4, 1842?

Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842. A wedding was originally set for January 1, 1841. The first wedding was canceled when the two broke off their engagement at Lincoln's initiative. They later met again at a party and married on November 4, 1842, in the Springfield mansion of Mary's married sister.

The Lincolns had how many children?

Abraham and Mary Lincoln had four children, all sons. Robert Todd Lincoln was born in 1843, Edward Baker Lincoln (Eddie) in 1846, "Willie" Lincoln was born on December 21, 1850, and Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was born on April 4, 1853.

How many of the Lincoln sons lived to adulthood?

Robert Todd Lincoln was the only Lincoln son to survive to adulthood and have children. The other three died of tuberculosis, fever, and heart failure. The deaths of their sons had profound effects on both parents.

In 1832, Lincoln started his political career and ran for what office?

Abraham Lincoln ran for the Illinois General Assembly in 1832. He had attained local popularity and could draw crowds as a natural raconteur in New Salem. However, he lacked a formal education, powerful friends, and money, and he ultimately lost the election.

How tall was Lincoln?

Lincoln was 6 feet, 4 inches (193 cm), which was exceptionally tall for the era. He was often seen as strong enough to intimidate any rival.

He ran for state legislature a second time and won in what year?

Abraham Lincoln ran for state legislature a second time in 1834 and won his seat. He ran as a Whig. Many Democrats favored him over a more powerful Whig opponent. Lincoln served four successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives as a Whig representative from Sangamon County.

In what year was Lincoln elected to the U.S. House of Representatives?

Abraham Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846. He served one two-year term. He was the only Whig in the Illinois delegation.

Lincoln wrote a bill attempting to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation for the owners, enforcement to capture fugitive slaves, and a popular vote on the matter while serving in what capacity?

Abraham Lincoln first tried to abolish slavery while he was an Illinois representative in the House of Representatives. He abandoned the bill when it failed to gain sufficient Whig support.

Lincoln ended his only term in the House of Representatives when?

Abraham Lincoln ended his only term in the House of Representatives on March 4, 1849. He never ran for or held a seat in the House again.

By the 1850s, slavery was still legal in the southern United States. What was Lincoln's stance on slavery?

Lincoln disapproved of slavery. Slavery had been outlawed in the northern states since 1803, including Illinois, whose original 1818 Constitution forbade slavery. Lincoln returned to politics to oppose the pro-slavery Kansas–Nebraska Act (1854); this law repealed the slavery-restricting Missouri Compromise of 1820.

In late 1854, Lincoln returned to politics and unsuccessfully ran as a Whig against Lyman Trumball for a seat where?

Abraham Lincoln returned to politics in 1854. He was upset that, in 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, and allowed individual states and territories to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery. He did not win a seat in the US Senate. At that time, senators were elected by the state legislature.

In 1857, the Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in which landmark case, declaring that African-Americans were not citizens and had no inherent rights?

In 1857, the Supreme Court issued its controversial decision in the case of Scott v. Sanford, declaring that African-Americans were not citizens and had no inherent rights. This is more famously known as the Dred Scott case. Although Abraham Lincoln felt that African-Americans were not equal to whites, he supported the intent of America's founders, that all men were created with certain inalienable rights. Lincoln decided to challenge sitting U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas for his seat.

In 1858, who won the senate race in which Lincoln participated?

Lincoln and Douglas didn't disappoint the public, giving stirring speeches on issues ranging from states' rights to western expansion, but the central issue was slavery. Newspapers intensely covered the Lincoln-Douglas debates, oftentimes with partisan commentary. In the end, the state legislature elected Douglas, but the exposure vaulted Lincoln into national politics.

Political operatives in Illinois organized a campaign to support Abraham Lincoln for the presidency in what year?

On May 18, 1860, at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Lincoln surpassed better-known candidates such as William Seward of New York and Salmon P. Chase of Ohio. Lincoln was ultimately nominated due to his moderate views on slavery, his support for improving the national infrastructure, and the protective tariff.

Lincoln won the presidential election on November 6, 1860, and was sworn into office on what date?

Lincoln took the oath of office on March 4, 1861. He ultimately received 1,866,452 votes to win the presidency in the four-way race.

Before his inauguration in March of 1861, how many Southern states had seceded from the Union?

On April 15, 1861, there were calls for 75,000 state militia after Fort Sumter fell to Southern secessionists. On April 19 of the same year, Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of ports in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on what date?

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, stated that all individuals who were held as slaves in rebellious states "henceforward shall be free." The action was more symbolic than effective because the North didn’t control any states in rebellion and the proclamation didn’t apply to border states, Tennessee or some Louisiana parishes.

By 1864, the Confederate armies had eluded major defeat and Lincoln was convinced that what would happen?

Lincoln thought he might be only a one-term president. However, on November 8, 1864, Lincoln easily won a second term as president. His nemesis, George B. McClellan, the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, challenged him for the presidency, but the contest wasn't even close. Lincoln received 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 243 electoral votes.

On what date did General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Virginia, surrender his forces to Union General Ulysses S. Grant?

The Civil War was officially over on April 9, 1865, when Lee surrendered. When the city fell, Lincoln visited the vanquished Confederate capital; as he walked through the city, white Southerners were stone-faced, but freedmen greeted him as a hero. On April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox and the war was effectively over.

Lincoln made what famous speech in 1863, in a battlefield cemetery?

With the great Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 and the defeat of the Copperheads in the Ohio election in the fall, Lincoln had fast support. He made his famous speech at the Gettysburg battlefield cemetery. Lincoln thought "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here," but the Gettysburg Address would go on to be the most quoted speech in American history.

What is one of the most famous phrases from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?

In just 272 words and two minutes, Lincoln asserted that the nation born in 1776 had been tested and it would survive. The speech was a unifying call for all Americans after a brutal Civil War.

What is one of the biggest landmarks to honor Lincoln in Washington, DC?

Dedicated in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial is one of several built to honor an American president. It has always been a major tourist attraction and, since the 1930s, it has been a symbolic center focused on race relations. The memorial is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, DC, across from the Washington Monument.

Lincoln advocated for what building to be restored in Washington, DC after the Civil War?

When Lincoln first took office, the dome we know today was partially completed, braced by ropes of steel. On the lawn below, the inaugural crowd could see the model of the statue destined for the top. After the Civil War, the construction costs for the new dome and other parts of the building drew unfavorable remarks. Lincoln, however, stressed the importance of continuing the work, saying, "If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on."

How did President Lincoln die?

President Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday, April 14, 1865. He was attending a play at Ford's Theatre as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

Who assassinated President Lincoln?

John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln on April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford's Theatre. Booth was a well-known actor and a Confederate spy from Maryland; though he never joined the Confederate army, he had contacts with the Confederate secret service. After attending an April 11, 1865, speech, in which Lincoln promoted voting rights for blacks, an incensed Booth changed his plans and became determined to assassinate the president.

Booth fatally shot Lincoln where/

John Wilkes Booth fatally shot President Lincoln in the head, from behind. Lincoln's bodyguard had left the president unattended when he went next door to drink at a saloon. Lincoln was shot at point-blank range. Major Henry Rathbone momentarily grappled with Booth, but Booth stabbed him and escaped.

How long was Booth on the run after assassinating Lincoln?

Booth was on the run for 12 days after killing President Lincoln. Booth was tracked down and found on a farm in Virginia, some 70 miles south of Washington. After refusing to surrender to Union troops, Booth was killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett on April 26, 1865.

Mount Rushmore honors President Lincoln and which others?

Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). These presidents were selected by the creator because of their roles in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory.

Lincoln's portrait appears on which denomination or denominations of United States currency?

President Lincoln's image is on the penny and the $5 bill. His likeness also appears on many postage stamps and he has been memorialized in the names of many towns, cities, and counties. He is a very popular president.

Which of these statements is true?

Lincoln was the first president to be born outside of the 13 original colonies. The original states were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

How did President Lincoln feel about his nickname, "Honest Abe"?

President Lincoln hated his nickname, "Honest Abe." In fact, he hated being called Abe at all. Apparently, he preferred being called by his last name.

President Lincoln established what holiday?

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863. In that year, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

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