Butler Campaign Paperweight, 1884


Benjamin Butler was one of the most unique politicians in 19th century America, jumping from party to party and cause to cause. He often presented himself as a populist ally of working people, and African-Americans, against the wealthy forces that dominated Gilded Age America. To some, he symbolized the effort to expand the money supply, to help poor people, and to limit monopolies. To others, he was a demagogue who merely wanted office. Though he was successful in his home state of Massachusetts, as governor and congressman, he never won the presidency or the support of many voters nationwide, losing in his bid for the presidency in 1884 as the presidential nominee for the Greenbacker party, to both Grover Cleveland and James G Blaine.

General Subject Association: Political Campaigns


See more items in: Political and Military History: Political History, Campaign Collection, Government, Politics, and Reform, American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith

Exhibition: American Democracy

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Ralph E. Becker Collection of Political Americana

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PL.227739.1884.O01Catalog Number: 227739.1884.O01Accession Number: 227739

Object Name: Paperweight

Physical Description: metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 1/4 in x 2 1/2 in x 1/2 in; 8.255 cm x 6.35 cm x 1.27 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b3-a22a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_516169

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.