Campaign Textile for Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton (2001.067.20)

Campaign Textile for Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) and Levi Morton (1824-1920), 1888

Unidentified Maker

United States

Gift of Robert A. Frank, 2001.067.20

Photograph by David Bohl

The 1888 presidential campaign is marked by the vast number of political objects produced, as can be seen by the large number of related campaign textiles shown here from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.  These banners promote the Republican ticket of Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) or the Democratic ticket of sitting president Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) and his vice presidential candidate Allen G. Thurman (1813-1895).  Some of Harrison's banners use nostalgia from his grandfather's election in 1840, while others remind the voters of Harrison's Civil War service.  On Cleveland's banners, the rooster is a symbol of the Democratic party, while the crossed brooms signify that these candidantes would "sweep clean the stables of goverment."  The 1888 outcome was close, with Republican Benjamin Harrison winning the presidency by electoral vote despite losing the popular vote, similar to the 2000 race between Republican George W. Bush (b. 1946) and Democrat Al Gore (b. 1948).

William Henry Harrison, Late President of the United States (78.74.17)

William Henry Harrison, Late President of the United States, 1841

James R. Lambdin, artist; John Sartain, engraver; William Smith, publisher

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Special Acquisitions Fund, 78.74.17

Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of president William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), who was elected in 1840 (and is seen in this engraved portrait).  The banner in the gallery section above with the slogan, "Tippecanoe and Morton Too,"  uses nostalgia to link Benjamin Harrison with his grandfather.  During the1840 campaign, Harrison's camp used the catchy slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," underscoring his success at the Battle of Tippecanoe against a Native American force who were fighting a land treaty.  Unfortunately, William Henry Harrison caught a cold soon after starting his term.  It turned into pneumonia and he died 32 days into office, serving the shortest tenure of any American president before or since.