Rare Lincoln 1864 Presidential Campaign Newspaper
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Newspaper. Father Abraham. Reading, PA: October 4, 1864. Vol 1, No 10. 4 pp., 17¾ x 11¾ in.
The 1864 election was one of the most important in American history. When some of his advisors suggested postponing or cancelling the vote because of the war, Lincoln responded: “We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.” However, Lincoln’s reelection was an uphill struggle. No president had won a second term since Andrew Jackson in 1832, and Lincoln faced a challenge from his former general George McClellan, running as a Democrat on a peace platform, and John C. Frémont, who’s campaign was off to a strong start. Lincoln’s defeat would have surely led to a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy, dividing the union and giving slavery increased resonance in the South. Fortunately for Lincoln, William T. Sherman took Atlanta on September 2, 1864, showing that Northern victory was ahead. Frémont withdrew three weeks later, reasoning that Northern winning the war was more important than splitting the Republican vote.
The masthead reads “Liberty and Union—One and Inseparable—Now and Forever.” Reporting news from Lincoln’s and a number of other campaigns of the National Union Ticket, the moniker adopted by the Republican Party for the 1864 election. Though it was founded in 1864 to promote Lincoln’s re-election, Father Abraham continued publication until 1873.
A few small chips to top edge, minor tear to third column of p. 3, old folding creases. Contemporary ownership signature “G.D. Hunsecker” on p. 1.