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Cartoonist Attacks Lincoln’s Presidential Aspirations
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This anti-Lincoln cartoon features two Lincolns sitting back-to-back on a stump. The Lincoln on the left, captioned “Honest old Abe on the Stump. Springfield 1858,” says, “Nobody ever expected me to be President. In my poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen that any Cabbages were sprouting out.” The Lincoln on the right, captioned “Honest old Abe on the Stump at the ratification Meeting of Presidential Nominations. Springfield 1860,” says “I come to see, and be seen.” The implication is that he is a two-faced politician.

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. Printed Document. N.p., ca. 1860. 1 p., 8¼ x 10½ in.

Inventory #27055       Price: $3,900

This unattributed cartoon contrasts Lincoln’s modest posture at the Illinois Republican state convention in 1858, held in Springfield, with his confidence at the 1860 Illinois Republican ratifying convention, also held in Springfield.

In his speech in Springfield on July 17, 1858, Lincoln compared himself to Douglas: “Senator Douglas is of world-wide renown. All of the anxious politicians of his party, or who have been of his party for years past, have been looking upon him as certainly, at no distant day, to be the President of the United States. They have seen, in his jolly, fruitful face, post offices, land offices, marshalships and cabinet appointments, chargeships and foreign missions, bursting and sprouting forth in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by their greedy hands.... On the contrary, nobody has ever expected me to be President. In my poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen that any cabbages were sprouting out.”[1]

In a brief speech on August 8, 1860, at a Republican rally in Springfield, Lincoln said, “It has been my purpose, since I have been placed in my present position, to make no speeches. This assemblage having been drawn together at the place of my residence, it appeared to be the wish of those constituting this vast assembly to see me; and it is certainly my wish to see all of you. I appear upon the ground here at this time only for the purpose of affording myself the best opportunity of seeing you, and enabling you to see me.”[2]

Although drawn by a skilled artist, this image cannot definitively be attributed to any of the major cartoonists of the time.

Condition: Professionally conservation treated.

From the J. Doyle Dewitt Collection.

[1]Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Springfield, Illinois, July 17, 1858, Roy P. Basler et al., eds., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 8 vols. (1953), 2:504-521.

[2]Abraham Lincoln, Remarks at a Republican Rally, Springfield, Illinois, August 8, 1860, Basler, Collected Works, 4:91.

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