While Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is one of our most recognized and loved presidents today, in 1860 he was far less known. During the presidential campaign, he was presented as a man of the people. Active campaigning by the candidates was still not considered entirely appropriate in 1860, so Lincoln did not campaign. "By the lesson of the past," he explained,"and the united voice of all discreet friends, I am neither [to] write or speak a word for the public." Speeches by party orators and partisan newspapers brought the issues to the voters. This banner for Lincoln and vice presidential candidate Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891) follows the design and colors of the American flag, showing the Republican party's reverence for both the Union and the Constitution during an election that revolved around the issue of Southern secession.
Tokens like this one, with tintype portraits of Lincoln and Hamlin, were also popular during the 1860 and 1864 presidential campaigns. Known as a "doughnut tintype," it was made to hang from a clasp or a watch fob.
This campaign textile, also used to show support for the candidacy of Lincoln and Hamlin in 1860, again employs the colors and patterns of the American flag. The incorrect spelling of Lincoln's name helps to demonstrate how little he was known to Easterners during the 1860 campaign. Hamlin was selected as Lincoln's running mate, in part, because he was from Maine.