Map of the Western States, c. 1839

Lincoln’s World

Lincoln came of age on the American frontier where whites could move up the socio-economic ladder but where most blacks could not. His birth state of Kentucky allowed slavery while his adoptive states of Indiana and Illinois, although free, had restrictive laws that denied blacks equal citizenship rights, including the right to vote, hold office, sit on juries, and attend school. During the 1850s, Illinois passed additional codes that prohibited blacks from settling in the state.