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U.S. Capitol Washington, DC

Abraham Lincoln was elected to serve in the United States House of Representatives in 1846. During his term, he spoke out against the Mexican-American War, challenging President Polk’s intentions and claiming it to be, ‘a war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States.’ The House chamber, where Lincoln served, is today National Statuary Hall. Lincoln did not run for re-election. As president, Lincoln viewed the Capitol’s dome, then undergoing a re-construction, as a symbol of the nation, and insisted that it be completed. On December 2, 1863, a 35-gun salute heralded the completion of dome’s ‘Statue of Freedom.’

Credit: National Archives