Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin in rural Kentucky and went on to become the 16th President of the United States. In 1858, he decided to challenge Stephen Douglas for his seat in the U.S. senate. Though Lincoln lost the election, he got the attention of national Republican Party leaders and won the party’s nomination for President in 1860. In the national race, he again faced Stephen Douglas. Lincoln won the election but his views on slavery did not make him a welcome leader in the south. By his inauguration in March, 1861 seven Southern states had seceded from the Union. At first, Lincoln made the war about maintaining the union so as not to offend the loyal slave states. But eventually, he shifted the cause to abolishing slavery and on January 1st, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot the president at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C.