Abraham Lincoln Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Abraham Lincoln Net Worth 

Abraham Lincoln had an estimated net worth of $1 Million at death. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He preserved the Union during the U.S. Civil War and brought about the emancipation of slaves. As President of the United States, Lincoln saved much of his salary. According to many authors, his personal finances were careless and shiftless during these years, but the savings he had during this period do not support those allegations. Upon his death, his estate totaled more than $85,000, up from $15,000 in 1861. His $25,000 yearly salary as president provided most of the increment.

Because of his role as Union savior and emancipator of enslaved people, Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of America’s greatest heroes. His journey from humble beginnings to the highest office in the land is an inspiring one.

Lincoln was assassinated at a time when his country needed him to finish the monumental task of reuniting the country. His eloquent defense of democracy and insistence that the Union was worth preserving exemplify the ideals of self-government that all nations strive for. Lincoln’s distinct humane personality and enormous impact on the country have left him with an enduring legacy.

To calculate the net worth of Abraham Lincoln, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Abraham Lincoln
Net Worth: $1 Million
Monthly Salary: $2 Thousand
Annual Salary: $25 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Politician

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Lincoln was the son of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Thomas was a strong and determined pioneer who found moderate success and was well-liked in the community.

Lincoln’s older sister Sarah and younger brother Thomas, who died in infancy, were the couple’s other children.

On October 5, 1818, when Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) at the age of 34. The event was devastating to him, and young Lincoln became more estranged from his father, quietly resenting the hard work placed on him at such a young age.

Lincoln’s father, Thomas, married Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children, in December 1819, just over a year after his mother died. Lincoln quickly bonded with her because she was a strong and affectionate woman.

Early Life and Education

Due to a land dispute in 1817, the Lincolns were forced to relocate from Lincoln’s birthplace of Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana.

In Indiana, the family “squatted” on public land to make a living by hunting game and farming a small plot.

Lincoln’s father was eventually able to purchase the property.

Despite the fact that both of Lincoln’s parents were most likely illiterate, Thomas’ new wife Sarah encouraged him to read. Lincoln received his formal education while growing into manhood, for an estimated total of 18 months, a few days or weeks at a time.

Reading material was scarce in the Indiana wilderness. Neighbors remembered Lincoln walking for miles to borrow a book. He most likely read the family Bible as well as other popular books at the time, such as Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Aesop’s Fables.

The family relocated once more in March 1830, this time to Macon County, Illinois. When his father relocated the family to Coles County, Lincoln, then 22, struck out on his own, working in manual labor.

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Lawyer and Politician

Lincoln began his political career in 1834, when he was elected to the Illinois state legislature as a Whig Party member.

He decided to become a lawyer around this time, teaching himself the law by reading William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. He moved to Springfield, Illinois, after being admitted to the bar in 1837, and began practicing in the John T. Stuart law firm.

Lincoln began practicing law with William Herndon in 1844. Despite their opposing jurisprudence, the two developed a close professional and personal relationship.

Lincoln made a good living as a lawyer in his early years, but found that Springfield alone didn’t provide enough work, so he followed the court as it made its rounds on the circuit to the various county seats in Illinois to supplement his income.

Children and Wife

On November 4, 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd. Todd was a lively, well-educated woman from a prominent Kentucky family.

When the couple got engaged in 1840, many of their friends and family couldn’t understand Mary’s attraction, and Lincoln himself had his doubts. The engagement was abruptly terminated in 1841, most likely at Lincoln’s initiative.

Mary and Lincoln later met at a social function and married in 1842. Only one of the couple’s four sons, Robert Todd, survived to adulthood.

Lincoln was involved with other potential matches prior to marrying Todd. He allegedly met and became romantically involved with Anne Rutledge around 1837. Before they could get married, a typhoid outbreak hit New Salem, and Anne died at the age of 22.

Lincoln was said to be deeply depressed after her death. Several historians disagree on the extent of Lincoln’s relationship with Rutledge, and his level of sorrow at her death may be more legendary.

Lincoln began courting Mary Owens about a year after Rutledge died. After a few months of seeing each other, marriage was considered. But, in the end, Lincoln called the game off.

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Political Career

From 1847 to 1849, Lincoln served in the United States House of Representatives for a single term. His brief foray into national politics appeared to be unremarkable. He was the state’s lone Whig, demonstrating party loyalty but finding few political allies.

During his presidency, Lincoln spoke out against the Mexican-American War and backed Zachary Taylor for president in 1848. Because of his opposition to the war, he decided not to run for a second term and instead returned to Springfield to practice law.

By the 1850s, the railroad industry had moved west, and Illinois had become a major hub for a variety of companies. As the company’s attorney, Lincoln worked as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad.

Success in several court cases resulted in additional business clients, including banks, insurance companies, and manufacturing firms. Lincoln also assisted in a few criminal trials.

In one case, a witness claimed that the intense light from a full moon enabled him to identify Lincoln’s client, who was accused of murder. Lincoln used an almanac to demonstrate that the night in question was too dark for the witness to see anything clearly. His client was found not guilty.

Senate Race

Lincoln decided to run for the seat currently held by U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas. In his acceptance speech for the nomination, he chastised Douglas, the Supreme Court, and President James Buchanan for promoting slavery, declaring that “a house divided cannot stand.”

During his 1858 U.S. Senate campaign against Douglas, Lincoln took part in seven debates held in various cities across Illinois. The two candidates did not disappoint the public, engaging in rousing debates on topics ranging from states’ rights to western expansion, but the central issue was slavery.

Newspapers covered the debates extensively, often with partisan commentary. The state legislature ultimately chose Douglas, but the publicity catapulted Lincoln into national politics.

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President Abraham Lincoln

With Lincoln’s newly elevated political profile, political operatives in Illinois organized a campaign to support him for the presidency in 1860. On May 18, at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Lincoln defeated more well-known candidates such as New York’s William Seward and Ohio’s Salmon P. Chase.

Lincoln was nominated in part because of his moderate views on slavery, support for improving national infrastructure, and support for the protective tariff.

In the general election, Lincoln faced his friend and rival, Stephen Douglas, and defeated him in a four-way race that included Northern Democrats John C. Breckinridge and Constitution Party John Bell.

Lincoln received less than 40% of the popular vote but won the presidency with 180 of 303 Electoral College votes.

Civil War

Before Lincoln’s inauguration in March 1861, seven Southern states had seceded from the Union, and by April, the United States military installation Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, was under siege.

The guns stationed to protect the harbor blazed toward the fort in the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, signaling the start of the United States Civil War, America’s most costly and bloodiest war.

Lincoln handled the crisis like no other president before him, distributing $2 million from the Treasury for war materials without an appropriation from Congress; calling for 75,000 volunteers into military service without a declaration of war; and suspending the writ of habeas corpus, arresting and imprisoning suspected Confederate States sympathizers without a warrant.

Crushing the rebellion would be difficult under any circumstances, but the Civil War was especially difficult after decades of raging partisanship. Lincoln faced criticism and defiance from all sides. He frequently clashed with his generals, Cabinet, party, and a majority of the American people.

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Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, reshaping the cause of the Civil War from saving the Union to abolishing slavery.

The Union Army’s first year and a half of battlefield defeats made it difficult to maintain morale and support for national reunification. And the Union victory at Antietam on September 22, 1862, while far from conclusive, gave Lincoln the confidence to change the war’s objectives.

According to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, all individuals held as enslaved people in rebellious states “henceforward shall be free.” Because the North did not control any states in rebellion, and the proclamation did not apply to Border States, Tennessee, or some Louisiana parishes, the action was more symbolic than effective.

Civil War Ends

Following Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the North’s war effort gradually improved, though through attrition rather than brilliant military victories.

However, by 1864, the Confederate armies had avoided major defeat, and Lincoln was convinced he would only serve one term as president. His nemesis, former Army of the Potomac commander George B. McClellan, challenged him for the presidency, but the contest was not even close. Lincoln received 55% of the popular vote and 212 of the 243 Electoral College votes.

General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Virginia, surrendered his forces to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865. For all intents and purposes, the Civil War was over.

Reconstruction had already begun during the Civil War in areas firmly under Union military control as early as 1863, and Lincoln favored a policy of quick reunification with minimal retribution.

He was challenged by a radical group of Republicans in the Senate and House who demanded unconditional allegiance and repentance from former Confederates. Lincoln was assassinated before a serious political debate could begin.

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Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., by well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth.

He was taken across the street to the Petersen House, where he lay in a coma for nine hours before dying the next morning. Millions of people in both the North and South mourned his death.

Lincoln’s body was laid in state at the United States Capitol before being transported by funeral train to his final resting place in Springfield, Illinois.


Historians and ordinary citizens alike frequently cite Lincoln as America’s greatest president. Lincoln, an aggressively activist commander-in-chief, used every power at his disposal to ensure Civil War victory and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Some scholars believe that the Union would not have survived if another person of lesser character had been in the White House. “No president in American history ever faced a greater crisis, and no president ever accomplished as much,” historian Michael Burlingame writes.

“With malice toward none, charity for all, 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, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations,” Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural Address.

Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed.

–March 9, 1832 First Political Announcement


Towering genius distains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.

–January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address


You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm.

–January 26, 1863 Letter to Joseph Hooker


There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.

–January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address


John Brown’s effort was peculiar. It was not a slave insurrection. It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt among slaves, in which the slaves refused to participate.

–February 27, 1860 Cooper Union Address


Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy.

–March 4, 1861 Inaugural Address


Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles.

–August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan


Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.

–July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago


The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.

–September 16 and 17, 1859 Notes for Speeches at Columbus and Cincinnati


I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle.

–February 21, 1861 Speech to the New Jersey Senate

View our larger collection of Abraham Lincoln quotes.

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