Campaign Parade Torch, 1860

Description
The successful presidential campaign of Republican Abraham Lincoln perfected the nighttime torchlight parade as an entertainment of unprecedented scale that attracted the attention of men, women, and children. The concept originated in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1858, and was revived for Lincoln’s campaign by the city’s young Republicans. Tailored oil-resistant enameled cloth capes distinguished the marchers, some of whom were too young to vote. Their example spread from Hartford to cities in the northeastern United States, which contributed traveling companies totaling some ten thousand uniformed men with torches such as this one to a Grand Procession in New York City on October 3, 1860. The martial spectacle—including fireworks, Lincoln “Wide Awake” transparencies, and floats—created envy among the city’s Democrats, and panic among southern sympathizers who regarded the torch-lit parade as a provocation.
date made
by 1860
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
eagle (overall shape)
Measurements
overall: 12 1/4 in x 9 in x 2 1/4 in; 31.115 cm x 22.86 cm x 5.715 cm
ID Number
1980.0482.15
accession number
1980.0482
catalog number
1980.0482.15
Credit Line
George L. and Mary E. Compton
subject
Political Campaigns
related event
Presidential Campaign of 1860
See more items in
Political History: Political History, Campaign Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
Exhibition
Exhibition
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History