Commander-in-Chief of the Union Army
16th President of the United States
1/10 scale resin bust
Sculpted by: Carl Reid
Box Art Painted by: Jason Green
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809 and died April 15, 1865. He was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis — the American Civil War — preserving the Union while ending slavery and promoting economic and financial modernization. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives, but failed in two attempts at a seat in the United States Senate. He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband and father of four children.
In 1832, Lincoln served as a captain in the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War. Following his return from the militia, Lincoln continued his campaign for the August 6 election for the Illinois General Assembly. At 6 feet 4 inches, he was tall and “strong enough to intimidate any rival”. At his first speech, when he saw a supporter in the crowd being attacked, Lincoln grabbed the assailant by his “neck and the seat of his trousers” and threw him. Lincoln finished eighth out of thirteen candidates.
On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the sixteenth president of the United States. As Lincoln’s election became evident, secessionists made clear their intent to leave the Union before he took office the next March. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina took the lead by adopting an ordinance of secession; by February 1, 1861, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed. Six of these states then adopted a constitution and declared themselves to be a sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America. The upper South and border states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas) listened to, but initially rejected, the secessionist appeal. President Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln refused to recognize the Confederacy, declaring secession illegal.
Civil War begins. The commander of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Major Anderson sent a request for provisions to Washington, and the execution of Lincoln’s order to meet that request was seen by the secessionists as an act of war. On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired on Union troops at Fort Sumter, forced them to surrender, and began the Civil War.
After the fall of Fort Sumter, Lincoln soon realized the importance of taking immediate executive control of the war and making an overall strategy to put down the rebellion. Lincoln encountered an unprecedented political and military crisis, and he responded as Commander-in-Chief, using unprecedented powers. Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. ”
On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South. The opposite was the result, for with Lincoln’s death, the possibility of peace with magnanimity died.
The bust is based on the painting of Lincoln, by David John Gue 1836-1917 born Brooklyn N.Y. He moved to Iowa in 1852, became a lawyer in Fort Dodge, then a pharmacist. Not until he was past 50 did he become an artist. Best known for his portraits of Grant, Lincoln and Beecher he also painted landscapes and marines. The painting is signed by Gue and dated 1862. Lincoln’s eyes are grey-blue.