Abraham Lincoln pronunciation was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination. As president, 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.