A critical remark made by a Democratic newspaperman gave birth to the log cabin and the hard cider barrel as Whig symbols to promote the candidacy of William Henry Harrison. The newspaperman wrote that Harrison’s rivals could easily “get rid of” the old general with “a barrel of hard cider, and settle a pension of two thousand a year on him, and my word for it, he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin by the side of a ‘sea coal’ fire and study moral philosophy.” Though the Democratic press reprinted the suggestion as a cutting remark, Harrison’s Whig friends embraced the everyday attributes of log cabins and hard cider and the symbols soon appeared on various campaign objects including this cane from 1840.
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.