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In 1858 the Illinois legislature sent Stephen A. Douglas to the U.S. Senate instead of Abraham Lincoln, although Lincoln had won the popular vote. (In those days the Illinois legislature elected its federal senators and not the voters.) The future president was stunned by the outcome but took it seemingly in stride. All of Lincoln’s plans for the future and for his family had been riding on that election. When a sympathetic friend asked Lincoln how he felt, he said, “Like the boy who stubbed his toe: I am too big to cry and too badly hurt to laugh.” (Max Lucado, God Came Near, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 57.)


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