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Abraham Lincoln - Lincoln in Washington

"Abraham Lincoln", Trademark unruly hair, Civil war Talk, Fair Use.

Abe Lincoln stood election for the U.S. Congress, in 1847, and won. Moving to Washington City with Mary and their two sons (Robert and Eddie), Abe took his seat in the House of Representatives on December 6, 1847.

When he arrived in Washington, Lincoln realized that the nation's capital city still allowed slavery. In 1849, he proposed legislation, in the House, to begin abolishing slavery in Washington.

Something else bothered Lincoln after he arrived at the Capitol. The United States was in a disagreement with Mexico over who owned the land in the new state of Texas. 

President James Polk, making an argument accusing Mexico of bloodshed in Texas, wanted to rally U.S. troops to action. Lincoln was a patriot, but his patriotism did not extend to supporting the President if Polk had the facts wrong. Lincoln believed that Polk had his facts wrong. 

What were the facts? The United States, not Mexico, had started the bloodshed in Mexico. Lincoln knew that it would be unpopular to speak against the President, but he also knew that he had to tell the truth.

Speaking the truth, about the conflict's beginnings, Lincoln was seen—by others—as unpatriotic.  The Whig party decided not to support Abe's reelection efforts, and he returned to Springfield. Lincoln thought his political career was over.

In 1850, Eddie Lincoln died two months before his fourth birthday. He'd been ill—likely with tuberculosis (then also known as "consumption")—for 52 days.

Both Abe and Mary sank into a deep depression as they battled terrible grief. This was not the first time the Lincolns had fought-against depression, and they successfully did it again. By the end of 1850, they had a third son whom they named William Wallace Lincoln (or, "Willie" for short). Both parents doted on Willie.

On the 4th of April, 1853, Abe and Mary welcomed their fourth (and final) child. It was another son, born at their home in Springfield, whom the Lincolns named Thomas (and nicknamed "Tad"). 

About four years after returning to Springfield, where he practiced law with William Herndon, Lincoln decided it was time to head back into the political arena. Realizing that the beliefs and policies of the Whig party no longer mirrored his own, he helped to form a new political party.

Lincoln's new party is still known by the same name—the Republican party.

Original Release: Mar 22, 2017

Updated Last Revision: May 10, 2017


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