After weeks spent at his home in Springfield, Illinois, during which he received news of Southern states seceding from the Union, President-elect Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated president of the United States. Although he declares himself a moderate on the slavery issue (pledging only to oppose its expansion), Southerners widely see him as a radical abolitionist and continue to support secession from the Union. Lincoln presides over a brutal Civil War that results in the death or wounding of roughly 3% of the entire population, and a larger number of American casualties than in all other U.S. wars combined. The Union victory will result in the reunification of the United States and the emancipation of 4 million American slaves. Lincoln serves as president until his assassination on April 15, 1865; long enough to witness the Northern victory, but not long enough to oversee the federal Reconstruction policies.
Monday, March 4, 1861