When Lincoln Fled

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Legislators fleeing to prevent a quorum is nothing new. In fact, KPMH-TV reports Abraham Lincoln did it in “one of the most bizarre episodes” of his political career by trying to keep the Illinois House of Representatives in session so the Illinois State Bank might survive.

On December 5, 1840, Democrats “proposed an early adjournment, knowing this would bring a speedy end to the State Bank. The Whigs tried to counter by leaving the capitol building before the vote, but the doors were locked. That’s when Lincoln made his move. He headed for the second story, opened a window and jumped to the ground!”

“For a while Lincoln’s escape denied the House its quorum, but it didn’t last long. He was returned to the chambers and the House voted to adjourn.”
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