A Man Of Unity

A Man of Unity
“In this temple as in the hearts of the People for whom he saved the union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enhanced forever.” Lincoln was portrayed as a man that united a country that many believed it wouldn’t stay together. The memorial consist of the Gettysburg’s address and also his second inaugural address both which was his attempt to motivate the people to come together as one in a time of trouble. These two documents changed the history of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, was born February 12, 1809 to the parents of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was the first president not born in the 13 colonies. In 1816, Lincoln’s family moved to Indiana, mainly because of slavery. The family attended a Baptist church that didn’t approve of slavery. Lincoln called himself “naturally anti-slavery.” The Lincoln family moved again to Illinois in 1830 but Abraham Lincoln moved away to New Salem one year later. The distance from his father was better for him since he didn’t really have a good relationship with his father. Lincoln’s mother had died in his early years.
Lincoln tried different occupations. Lincoln was a Whig and worked for the party. In 1836, he was influenced by another Whig member to become a lawyer. He received a lot of practice as being a lawyer. In 1847, Lincoln served on term on the United States House of Representatives. He was an influential figure in Congress. He opposed many things while being in office. Events like the war in Mexico and the expansion of slavery. In result, he did not run again for Congress and returned to law instead.
Lincoln was elected as the president in March of 1861. States had already been seceded from the Union at that time. A year later more states began to secede and in April of 1861 the Civil War had started. As the war went on, Congress passed the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery. This made southerners angry.
John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate spy, plotted to kidnap. He had planned to take Lincoln to Richmond. There he would hold Lincoln hostage in the Confederate capital. When the day had come Lincoln had changed plans. On April 14, 1865, Ford had said he was going to kill Lincoln. He had heard that they were going to the Ford Theater. That night, Booth had made his way to the State Box. There Lincoln was shot. Two years had passed and Congress created the Lincoln Memorial Association. In 1911, President Taft signed a bill that would fund the memorial we have on the National Mall today.
The Lincoln Memorial was built May 30, 1922. Henry Bacon, an architect, based the memorial after the style of a Greek temple. The marble temple was designed to be 99ft tall. It consists of 36 columns, each representing a state of the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death . Because some states were added to the Union after the memorial was completed, their names were carved on the outside walls of the memorial. As you walk up the steps of the memorial you would see a huge sculpture of Lincoln, created by Daniel Chester French. You feel very small as you stand to observe it. It’s as though he is a figure you should look up to, literally and metaphorically.
On each side of the memorial is one of Lincoln’s famous speeches, Gettysburg and second inaugural address. The Gettysburg’s address was given November 19, 1863 during the American Civil War. The Union had just gained a victory at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Above this address is a mural. The mural has an “Angel of Truth.” The angel is symbolizing freedom and liberty, which she is giving to the slaves .
Second Inaugural Address was given March 4, 1865. This was the last speech that Lincoln would make because he passed away days later. Above the address is also a mural of the “Angel of Truth”. The mural has the angel unite the hands of two different sides. This represents the address because it was Lincoln’s hope for the nation, which was for the country to join as one.

The Lincoln Memorial is located on the National Mall. Many believe that it’s located there for a specific reason. Lincoln faces the Washington Monument and past that is the Nation’s Capitol. But behind the Lincoln Memorial lies Robert E. Lee-Custis’ Mansion, who was one of the leaders for the Confederate states. This can be interpreted as if Lincoln was turning his back on the South.
The Lincoln memorial is now a gathering place for many events. History has been made on the steps of the memorial. It’s famous for Marion Anderson singing on Easter Sunday in 1939. She did this after being turned away from the Constitution Hall because of her race. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Had a Dream speech in 1963 on the steps of the memorial too. And most recently the Obama Inaugural Celebration on January 18, 2009, where many people came out to celebrate the 44th president of the United States.
Overall, Lincoln was a man that believed that the nation would be able to put aside its differences and come together as one. I believe that when people come to the Lincoln Memorial they are able to see a great man. Everyone comes to his feet and take a picture with him. They discuss and explain the history that the 16th president made. People read at the documents he had presented to the nation at the time. So when we go to the Lincoln Memorial the next time and time after that, we will not be just an individual but a united nation.

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