George Washington , the general who commanded the North American Army in the War of Independence against Britain , became the first President of the United States . He and those who fought with him did much for their country : they freed it from colonial oppresion .
But Abraham Lincoln had a greater wish : he wanted to see all the people of the United States, including the Negroes , free from oppression and exploitation by the rich , the owners of the big plantations .
Abraham Lincoln was the son of a poor farmer . He was born in 1809 and his childhood was spent in hard work , helping his father on their small farm . But in 1816 , when the young Abraham was only seven years old , his father lost his farm and the family moved to another part of the country , where the boy worked as a farm labourer , a shop assistant and later as a clerk in the post - office .
Then , in 1818, his mother , whom he loved very dearly , died . Happily for him , when his father maried again , the second wife was a good mother to him to . Seeing that Abraham liked reading , she did all she could to help him . But the family was poor and the boy could not get many books . His favourite ones were ' The life of George Washington ' and ' Robinson Crusoe ' by Daniel Defoe . He himself later said that he only went to school „ by littles ” - a litle now and a little then , and not more than a year in all . But he worked hard and later even became a lawyer .
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