Few individuals have so profoundly influenced American history as did Abraham Lincoln. Millions around the world are inspired by the story of Lincoln’s rise from humble beginnings to President of the United States, his qualities of integrity and courage and his decisive leadership – traits that carried a fragile nation through one of its most trying periods.
The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (ALNHA) is a 42-county area of Central Illinois designated by Congress in 2008. The ALNHA works in partnership with the National Park Service and tells the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois. It is the only National Heritage Area named for an American President.
The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area is focused on the 30 years Lincoln lived in central Illinois, raising his family and pursuing his passion for the law and politics. During this time, we now know he was unwittingly preparing himself to become the President who would hold the Nation together during a time of unprecedented challenges, that of a Civil War, requiring enormous courage to save the Union and bind its wounds, while trying to cleanse the scourge of slavery from our national culture. He was ultimately successful in his objective but gave his “last, full measure of devotion” at Ford’s Theatre in 1865. We now believe that his journey is our enduring legacy.