Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain kwledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illiis. He was a captain in the Black Hawk War, spent eight years in the Illiis legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. His law partner said of him, His ambition was a little engine that knew rest. He married Mary Todd, and they had four boys, only one of whom lived to maturity. In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican mination for President in 1860. As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the rthern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.