Commissioned by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, J. Seward Johnson, Jr.'s Return Visit is the most true-to-life statue of Abraham Lincoln ever created. An 1865 cast of Lincoln's face by Clark Mills, and an 1860 cast of Lincoln's hands by Leonard Volk defined the starting point of Johnson's work. He sculpted Lincoln and then dressed the statue with a replica suit and coat, patterned from clothing once worn by the President. The shoes are based on an outline made by Lincoln's immigrant boot-maker, Pennsylvania Peter Khaler.
The bronze Lincoln points with his hat toward the second floor of the Wills House, where he probably finished writing his Gettysburg Address. A late-twentieth-century tourist's eyes follow the President's uplifted hand. At the November 19, 1991 dedication, sculptor J. Seward Johnson remarked,
"I grew to feel Lincoln, the man, the individual.... a person of great dignity and vision.... I wanted him here on the sidewalk within our reach. That's why I have done my best to bring Lincoln to the likeness of life.... to live amongst us and among the coming generations of Americans. We welcome him back here today, to breathe new life into his message of equality and dignity for us all."