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Abraham Lincoln

American Statesman and 16th president of the United States.
Gender: Male
Home Country: Canada
Languages spoken: English, Arabic, French

Biography Highlights

Was born into a poor family
Had only 18 months of formal education
Is in the Wrestling Hall of Fame...
Was a self-taught lawyer
Loved to tell stories


Abraham Lincoln was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the Union through the American Civil War to defend the nation as a constitutional union and succeeded in abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government, and modernizing the U.S. economy

Lincoln was born into poverty in a log cabin in Kentucky and was raised on the frontier, primarily in Indiana. He was self-educated and became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator, and U.S. congressman from Illinois. In 1849, he returned to his successful law practice in Springfield, Illinois. In 1854, he was angered by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which opened the territories to slavery, and he re-entered politics. He soon became a leader of the new Republican Party. He reached a national audience in the 1858 Senate campaign debates against Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln ran for president in 1860, sweeping the North to gain victory. Pro-slavery elements in the South viewed his election as a threat to slavery, and Southern states began seceding from the nation. During this time, the newly formed Confederate States of America began seizing federal military bases in the South. Just over one month after Lincoln assumed the presidency, the Confederate States attacked Fort Sumter, a U.S. fort in South Carolina. Following the bombardment, Lincoln mobilized forces to suppress the rebellion and restore the union.

Lincoln, a moderate Republican, had to navigate a contentious array of factions with friends and opponents from both the Democratic and Republican parties. His allies, the War Democrats and the Radical Republicans, demanded harsh treatment of the Southern Confederates. Anti-war Democrats (called “Copperheads”) despised Lincoln, and irreconcilable pro-Confederate elements plotted his assassination. He managed the factions by exploiting their mutual enmity, carefully distributing political patronage, and by appealing to the American people. His Gettysburg Address came to be seen as one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. Lincoln closely supervised the strategy and tactics in the war effort, including the selection of generals, and implemented a naval blockade of the South’s trade. He suspended habeas corpus in Maryland and elsewhere, and averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. In 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared the slaves in the states “in rebellion” to be free. It also directed the Army and Navy to “recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons” and to receive them “into the armed service of the United States.” Lincoln also pressured border states to outlaw slavery, and he promoted the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which upon its ratification abolished slavery, except as punishment for a crime.

Lincoln managed his own successful re-election campaign. He sought to heal the war-torn nation through reconciliation. On April 14, 1865, just five days after the war’s end at Appomattox, he was attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Mary, when he was fatally shot by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln is remembered as a martyr and a national hero for his wartime leadership and for his efforts to preserve the Union and abolish slavery. Lincoln is often ranked in both popular and scholarly polls as the greatest president in American history.

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Speaking videos

Media, podcast appearances and interviews

Abraham's Topics

The Gettysburg Address

The classic speech demonstrating mastery of thought and expression!

  • Lincoln’s image carved into the stone of Mount Rushmore.
  • A 1909 bronze statue by Adolph Weinman, sits before a historic church in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Available: In person, Virtually
First Inaugural Address

Lincoln pleads with his “dissatisfied fellow countrymen” to avoid war.

Written in a spirit of reconciliation toward the seceded states, Lincoln’s inaugural address touched on several topics:

  • A pledge to “hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government”—including Fort Sumter, which was still in federal hands.
  • A statement that the Union would not interfere with slavery where it existed.
  • A promise that while he would never be the first to attack, any use of arms against the United States would be regarded as rebellion and met with force.
Available: In person
Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions

Lincoln the patent holder goes on the lecture circuit.

Available: Virtually

Abraham's Programmes & Workshops

How to be a president

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Abraham Lincoln Was A Badass: Crazy But True Stories About The United States’ 16th President

Along with a host of trailblazing pioneers, scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, soldiers, and athletes, the United States has had some incredibly badass presidents who have embodied the rough and tough American spirit. Unlike many of the countless biographies that have been written about Lincoln, this book takes a lighthearted approach to what made Honest Abe such a badass, beginning with his humble life on the frontier of Kentucky and Indiana in the early 1800s and ending with the legacy he left on American after his tragic assassination.

— Business & Entrepreneurship, Biographies

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

Abraham Lincoln: A Concise History of the Man Who Transformed the World

Abraham Lincoln’s determination to hold the North and South together would ultimately lead to the bloodiest war in American history, the abolition of slavery, and his own untimely death from an assassin’s bullet. But to see Lincoln solely as a tragic figure consumed with the strife of mid-19th century America is to miss meeting him as a man who never allowed himself to be defeated by adversity, grief, or turmoil. From his earliest days on the frontier, he endured the loss of his beloved mother and the demanding physical challenges of a rough-and-ready land where death came easily and education was rare; where ambition was rewarded if a man proved himself willing to work hard; where love was attainable, even for a man whose physical appearance was most charitably described as homely.

— Biographies, Motivational & Inspirational

Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington

It’s a story about Abraham Lincoln’s 13-day train trip to his inauguration. We tend to have a static image of Lincoln, posed in a photograph or standing stiffly in a daguerreotype. But he was a man of action. I wanted to show him moving.

— Politics

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