Effingham Lawrence

Effingham Lawrence (March 2, 1820 December 9, 1878) was a Democratic Party member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the state of Louisiana. He served one day, the last day of the session of the 43rd United States Congress (March 3, 1875), the shortest term of any member of 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

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 originally 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.

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

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