Abraham Lincoln was an American politician who served as the 16th President of the United States (1861 - 1864). He led the US through most of the war of secession and was the first republican president. However, following a series of military reversals in 1862 and 1863 his government became less popular, particularly in border states. Shortly before the 1864 presidential election he was assassinated by an unknown assailant whilst traveling from the White house to his temporary residence. He was the first US President to be assassinated and the third to die in office.