A Songbook from Lincoln’s Re-election Effort
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A beardless Lincoln adorns the cover of this small songbook, intended “For the Use of Clubs.” according to its title page and “Containing All the Most Popular Songs.” from his 1864 re-election campaign. [ABRAHAM LINCOLN].
Pamphlet, Lincoln Campaign Songster, Philadelphia, Mason and Co., 1864, 16 pp., 2 ¾ x 4 ¼ in.
In a war-weary nation, Lincoln expected to lose his 1864 reelection bid to General George McClellan, who had organized the Army of the Potomac, led the failed 1862 Peninsula Campaign, and been dismissed by Lincoln for insubordination. The Copperheads, or Peace Democrats, sought an end to the war at any cost, including disunion and compromise with the southern states. Lincoln’s own campaign centered around the freedom offered by the Emancipation Proclamation (issued January 1, 1863), peace with honor, and maintaining the Union. His 1860 printed materials had depicted him as a rugged rail-splitter, but by 1864, his image had evolved to a father concerned for the fate of his nation.
The final song in this collection, We Are Coming, Father Abraham, 600,000 More,” reflects this patriarchal image. The other songs reflect other campaign themes, such as “Give us Noble Leaders,” “Rally Round the Cause, Boys,” “The Veteran Volunteer,” “1865—Holy, Holy, Happy New Year,” “Are We Freedom’s Friends?” and “Hurrah! For Lincoln and Johnson!” Most are written to the tunes of popular songs of the day, including “John Brown’s Body,” “Rally Round the Flag,” “Yankee Doodle,” and “Battle Cry of Freedom.”
Mason and Company of Philadelphia were fully invested in Lincoln’s re-election and printed other Lincoln campaign materials such as badges, emblems, pins, medals, and engravings.
Very Good. Tanned, slight separation of front cover.
“The 1864 Campaign.” http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/l/Lincoln/songster.htm