Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Lincoln

"The Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln, was born to impoverished parents in Kentucky's backwoods in 1809. Lincoln taught himself law, served in the Illinois Legislature, then gained a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1858, he challenged Senator Stephen Douglas and—through wit, wisdom and a series of historic debates—won the admiration of the American people, though he lost the election.

"The Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln, was born to impoverished parents in Kentucky's backwoods in 1809. Lincoln taught himself law, served in the Illinois Legislature, then gained a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1858, he challenged Senator Stephen Douglas and—through wit, wisdom and a series of historic debates—won the admiration of the American people, though he lost the election.

Elected president in 1860, Lincoln oversaw one of the most pivotal periods in American history, the Civil War. Through steadfast devotion to the nation, he successfully preserved the Union. 

Lincoln was Borglum's favorite leader. In fact, the sculptor named his only son for the 16th president. After studying photo-graphs and a life-mask of Lincoln, Borglum chose to portray him with the beard and the determined look he wore during his tenure in office.