Fairbanks Statue in New Salem State Park, Illinois

This nine-foot bronze statue by Avard Fairbanks greets you at New Salem State Historic Site near Petersburg, Illinois. Presented to the state in 1954, it portrays Abraham Lincoln in the symbolic act of discarding his axe and taking up his law books.

Lincoln first visited this pioneer village in 1831. As a crew member of a flatboat bound for New Orleans, he helped free the boat when it became stranded on a milldam by the town. Later he studied law here and was elected to the state legislature.

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