Effingham Lawrence

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Effingham Lawrence
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana's 1st district
In office
March 3, 1875 – March 4, 1875
Preceded by J. Hale Sypher
Succeeded by Randall L. Gibson
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from the 1st district
In office
Personal details
Born (1820-03-02)March 2, 1820
Died December 9, 1878(1878-12-09)
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Ann George
Children 10
Residence Louisiana
Profession Politician

Effingham Lawrence (March 2, 1820 – December 9, 1878) was an American Politician known for holding the shortest term in congressional history, serving for just one day in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Lawrence was born in Queens, New York, in 1820. He moved to Louisiana in 1843 and engaged in the planting and refining of sugar. He served in the Louisiana State House of Representatives for some time and then successfully contested the re-election of Jacob Hale Sypher. Lawrence then served for one day in Congress but was not reelected. He died in New Orleans in 1878.

Contested election[edit]

The voting in the 1872 election was characterized by a number of irregularities, with Sypher initially being declared the winner and returned to Congress whilst Lawrence appealed the election results. Lawrence's belated replacement of Sypher, after courts intervened to nullify the original results and instead deliver the seat to Lawrence, marked the first time since the Civil War that a Democrat had defeated a Republican for a seat in Congress from Louisiana.

The 1874 voting in which Lawrence failed "re-election" to the seat had already been held before he was seated for the term to which he had, by the later court-order, been elected in 1872. Thus, under the congressional calendar in effect at the time, Lawrence was able to serve for one day of the 1873-1875 term to which he had, in the end, been elected. On the following day—March 4, 1875—he was succeeded by Randall Lee Gibson, a Democrat who had defeated him during the preceding autumn.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jacob Hale Sypher
United States Representative for the 1st Congressional District of Louisiana
Succeeded by
Randall Lee Gibson