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Lincoln the Legislator

This bust by Avard Fairbanks on the Capitol first floor recalls Lincoln's single term in Congress which started in 1847. In his 1860 autobiography, Lincoln explained that he "was not a candidate for reelection. This was determined upon and declared before he went to Washington, in accordance with an understanding among Whig friends, by which Colonel Hardin and Colonel Baker had each previously served a single term in this same district."

His law partner, William H. Herndon, recalled, "With the close of Lincoln's Congressional career he drops out of sight as a political factor ... He did not solicit or contend for a renomination to Congress, and such was the unfortunate result of his position on public questions that it is doubtful if he could have succeeded had he done so."

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