Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

075 What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?

75. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?
• Freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
• Saved (or preserved) the Union
• Led the United States during the Civil War

Being the president of the United States is always a difficult and dangerous job, but it is especially so (or even more so) when there is a civil war and two or more parts of one country are fighting against each other. This was the experience of Abraham Lincoln, who was the 16th president of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln believed that slavery (or the practice of owning other people and making them work without paying them) was wrong and he worked hard to make slavery illegal (or against the law) in the United States. This was one of the biggest reasons that the United States had its Civil War. The northern and southern states fought bitterly (or in a very serious and negative way) against each other and it seemed like the United States could not be united anymore (or with all the states working together in one country). But Abraham Lincoln led the United States during the Civil War and he was able to preserve (or save) the Union when many people thought it wasn’t possible.

Abraham Lincoln also made the Emancipation Proclamation, an official government document that freed the slaves and made slavery illegal (or against the
law). This made many people in the north happy, but it made many people in the south angry. In fact, the Emancipation Proclamation made some people so angry that they began to plan Abraham Lincoln’s assassination (or the murder of a country’s leader).

On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln and his wife were watching a play (or theater performance) at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. A man named John Wilkes Booth was in the theater, too, and he had a gun. He shot President Lincoln. The president died the next morning. He was the first U.S. president to be assassinated. People in the northern part of the country mourned his loss (or felt sad that he had died), but some of the people in the south celebrated his death. Today he is remembered as a great president who helped the country stay together in very, very difficult times.


especially so – even more so; very much true
* Dan said, “I don't think teenagers should use drugs, and that's especially so when I think about my own children.”

civil war – a war where two or more parts of one country are fighting against each other
* In a civil war, sometimes brothers and sisters fight against each other.

bitterly – in a very strong, negative, and unhappy way
* The two cousins argued bitterly while they were growing up, but now they are good friends.

united – made of one piece, without many separate parts; joined
* How many countries are united in the European Union?

to preserve (something) – to be able to save something; to be able to protect something
* We took photographs to preserve the memories of our vacation.

Emancipation Proclamation – a U.S. government document that made it against the law to own other people as slaves
* The Emancipation Proclamation gave thousands of slaves their freedom.

to free (someone) – to do something so that a person is no longer a slave; to let someone out of jail or prison; to give someone freedom
* Who freed the dangerous prisoners from the city jail?

assassination – the murder of a country's leader or another important person
* How many times has there been an assassination of a U.S. president?

to mourn (one's) loss – to feel very sad that someone has died
* Their mother died last year, and they are still mourning their loss.