The Campaign of 1860


The four candidates for the 1860 Presidential election.  Clockwise from top right: Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, John Breckenridge, and John Bell.

This speech supports the candidacy of Stephen Douglas and rails against the breakaway Southern Democratic Party delegates.

Republican executive congressional committee, George Harrington, Secretary. “The Presidential Campaign of 1860.”  

This one-page circular lists campaign speeches and documents available for distribution to supporters of the Republican presidential ticket. 

Burleigh had been a lecturer for the American Anti-slavery Society in the 1830s. He edited this series of monthly pamphlets supporting the Republican cause.

This pamphlet prints three fiery speeches in support of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican ticket.

This collection compiles brief biographical sketches of the eight candidates for the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency.  The profile of Abraham Lincoln is considered to be the earliest of his biographies.

This speech by the prominent attorney and legal reformer wars of the possibility of the Presidential election being determined by Congress if no candidate gets sufficient electoral votes.

In this speech addressed “To the Men of the South,” William Dennison Porter argues on constitutional grounds for the right of the Southern states to secede from the Union. Porter’s tract was published by the pro-secessionist “1860 Association” of Charleston, South Carolina. The Association’s series of pamphlets helped fan the flames of secession in South Carolina which became the first Southern state to leave the Union.

Additional Exhibition Items:

The Corruption and Extravagance of the Black Republican party: Some of their Leaders Convicted of Bribery!… Read the Evidences of their Guilt. Washington City: Issued by the National Democratic Executive Committee, 1860.

This campaign pamphlet does not refer to the Black Republication Party in a racial sense, but as a financially corrupt organization.

D. W. Bartlett, 1828-1912. The Life and Public Services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln. New York: Derby & Jackson, 1860.

This campaign biography played an important role in educating the public about the relatively unknown presidential candidate. D.W. Bartlett was the Washington correspondent of the New York Evening Post and the New York Independent. This second printing claims to be an "authorized" edition, but in fact, it was not; however, it is likely that Lincoln’s supporters suggested changes, notably the removal of a reference to the sheriff's sale of Lincoln's surveying equipment to pay off his debts.

General Benjamin F. Butler, 1818-1893.  The Candidature for the Presidency in Eight Years of Stephen A. Douglas. His Selfishness, and the Duplicity in Principle of His Followers: Speech of Gen. Benj. F. Butler, in Lowell, August 10, 1860. Lowell [Mass.: Advertiser Office--Hildreth & Hunt, printers, 1860.

A Massachusetts attorney, politician and soldier, Benjamin Butler served in the Massachusetts legislature and was an officer in the state militia.  Although Butler claimed to be sympathetic to many of the concerns of the South, he supported the Union and served as a major general in the Union Army. He is best known for helping create the legal idea of effectively freeing fugitive slaves as contraband in service of military objectives.  In this speech made during the height of the 1860 campaign, he denounces Stephen A. Douglas and his supporters.