- from Lincoln
As a boy, Abraham Lincoln had seen enslaved African Americans. He’d also heard his father say it was wrong for one man to own another.
In fact, slavery was one of the reasons the Lincolns had moved from Kentucky to Indiana. Kentucky allowed people to own enslaved persons. Indiana did not.
To Abraham Lincoln, slavery was a “monstrous injustice.” He wanted to make sure that when new parts of America joined the Union, they did so as free states. He didn’t want any more slave states to join the Union. That was the very problem being argued all over the country: Who should decide a new state’s right to allow or ban slavery? The people who live there, or the U.S. government?
Many Northerners thought slavery should be banned everywhere in the country. Many Southerners thought they should be allowed to decide for themselves. The arguments over slavery got hotter. The country seemed ready to explode. Soon after Lincoln was elected in 1860, it did!