Historians and the general public regularly rank Abraham Lincoln as America’s greatest president. There is little doubt that he is widely admired for the work he did to end slavery and preserve the Union.
But beyond these two important points, most Americans know little else about Lincoln’s life. A 2013 poll by Participant found that two-thirds of Americans admitted to knowing “little to nothing” about him. Eighty-three percent of respondents thought that the Emancipation Proclamation freed all the slaves in the United States. (It only freed the slaves in areas under Confederate control.) Another 40 percent believed that Lincoln was a Democrat. (Google only confuses matters when it lists his party affiliation as “National Union Party,” which was a temporary rebranding of the Republican Party