« AnkstesnisTęsti »
Bank must perish!" and "The Union must and shall be preserved!" These refer of course to Jackson's opposition to the rechartering of the United States Bank and to his determined resistance to the South Carolina Nullifiers-positions he held as firmly as he did the ramparts of cotton bales at New Orleans. As the medallists, in order that their productions might meet with a ready sale, have always adopted those designs and mottoes with which the political atmosphere was charged, the Jackson medals of the period referred to prove that political
the "great expounder" on the reverse. The medal was evidently struck in honor of Webster, though it is difficult to construe the curious design as complimentary. Jackson had been the first "man of the people" to occupy the Presidential chair, and in the campaign of 1836 the Democratic party was extolled by its orators as the party of the "people," and the farmer's vote was flattered by Van Buren's partisans. There is striking evidence of this policy on two of the most important Van Buren medals of this year. On the reverse of one
The campaign of 1836 was a five-cornered fight. The opponents of Jackson's financial policy assumed the name of Whigs. The Democrats nominated Van Buren, an ardent partisan of Jackson, who was elected. The electoral votes of the opposition were distributed among Harrison, 73, Hugh L. White, 26, Daniel Webster, 14, and Willie P. Mangum, 11. The most interesting medal of this campaign is a brass Webster piece of medium size, on the reverse of which is an old woman riding on a broom-stick and wielding a crutch (5). With this design goes the inscription: "We all have our hobbies." It might be supposed that the medal was a relic of the days when the advocates of female suffrage put forth their first tentative efforts, were it not for a profile of
of these-a large white-metal piece-a plough and other agricultural implements are conspicuously grouped in front of a temple of Liberty (4); and the reverse of the other shows a man ploughing and the inscription: "The Democracy who can justly appreciate Liberty and Equality" (6).
Four years later Van Buren and Harrison again met in the political arena. This canvass was one of the most exciting in our history. Every expedient was resorted to by politicians of both parties to play upon popular feeling, and the whole country was aroused The Whigs conducted what has come down to us as "the shouting campaign." The Democrats having sneered at Harrison for living in a log cabin with nothing but hard cider to drink, his partisans raised the cry for the "log cabin and hard cider candiMedal Commemorating the Organization of the Liberty Party, 1838.
date." This touched the popular imagination, and people fairly went wild with enthusiasm and hard cider; for from the
barrel which the candidate proclaimed he was ready to tap for any one who entered his cabin, cider seemed to flow all over the country. Log cabins and barrels were features at nearly all the Harrison meetings, and were also borne in the large processions organized by Harrison's supporters, the first political processions in our history-on which occasions the barrels were usually found to be more persuasive orators than the speakers. The Harrison medals (8, obv. and rev., 13) faithfully record the popularity of the barrel, for the medallists even suspended their regard for perspective, and in their representations of Harrison's primitive home made the barrel so conspicuous an object in the surrounding landscape that beside it the mountains dwindle to mounds and the trees to bushes.
As the Harrison canvass progressed, it grew so exciting that in one Massachusetts town, for instance, a church was turned over to Harrison's partisans. They built a log cabin on wheels and drew it to the church with eighty yoke of oxen, young girls on horseback, each representing a State, riding in advance bearing green boughs and banners and strewing the road with flowers, while the whole procession shouted:
citement which prevailed during this campaign in the circumstance that the medallic series bearing upon it is much larger numerically than any relating to any of the previous
Harrison and Van Buren Medals of the Campaign of 1840.
contests; while the character of Har- to Harrison's candidacy by dwelling upon rison's canvass as a shouting campaign his victory at Tippecanoe.
One medallist managed to combine on the
Campaign of 1848.
is shown by the inscriptions on the Harrison medals. Patriotic mottoes and extracts from public utterances of the candidate are not to be found. Instead of these we have, with the log-cabin and hard-cider designs referred to, mere catch-words, which seem to have been caught up by the medallists as they fell from the lips of heated partisans. Certainly no stroke of statesmanship is recalled by the exclamation "Go it, Tip! Come it, Tyler," found on one of the Harrison medals (9); nor any indication of the candidate's policy conveyed by the cries "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!"-"The Log Cabin Candidate, the People's Choice" (13), which are conspicuous on others of the series. Political sentiments are as much wanting as they were in the first set of Jackson medals. Then, too, there is medallic evidence that the Whigs trumped the political trick with the very card-military successwhich the Democrats had played successfully in 1828, for they gave impetus
Buchanan Medal of 1856.
reverse of a small piece the symbols of Harrison's military glory and agricultural virtue with a humorous fling at the adversary. The design shows a pair of scales, one of which is branded "Loco," the other "Wigs," the latter, though it lacks one letter, outweighing the former. Beneath are the cabin and the barrel, a cannon, a pyramid of balls, and in the distance a file of soldiers, one of whom bears a standard. The contemptuous "Loco Foco" is again applied to Harrison's opponent in a rare little brass medal, issued by a medallist who evidently had a keen sense of humor. The design represents a steamboat flying a flag inscribed "1841," while the inscription tells us that the vessel is the "Steamboat Van Buren, for Salt River direct. Loco Foco Line" (15). Cne medallist in the excitement of the campaign forgot his grammar and flooded the community with this announcement on metal: "Honesty and Integrity will meet its just Reward!"
It seems to have occurred to political managers about this time that the "young man" might be turned into a
Scott and Pierce Medals of 1852.
useful factor in political campaigns, for we have a numismatic record of "The Young Men's Harrison's Convention, May 4, 1840." There was evidently a leaven of humor in this gathering, for the medal lic memento has, besides the inevitable log cabin, the inscription: "To let, Possess
ion given in 1841." Perhaps we are justified in
concluding from this sally of wit that in the first "Young Men's" Convention there was not, as in many of the Young Men's conventions of to-day, a large contingent of bald pates and gray heads.
Van Buren's followers stood upon higher ground than Harrison's, and made their campaign one of principle. Financial distress had come down to their leader as a legacy of Jackson's attacks upon the United States Bank. The crash came early in Van Buren's term. Two hundred and fifty business houses in New York suspended before he had been in office a month, and the losses in New Orleans aggregated during two days $27,000,000. Van Buren's statesmanship was during his entire administration directed toward the relief of this financial distress, his favorite measure being the establishment of an indepen
dent treasury for the custody of the public funds. This measure, which received the sanction of Congress in 1840, was the rallying cry of his partisans. Most of the Van Buren medals for this campaign contain references to his financial policy. The reverse of one shows a safe guarded by a watch-dog, and the inscription: "Sub-Treasury and Democracy" (11). The Democrats appealed from
popular clamor to the intelligence of the country. "The sober second thoughts of the People are O. K." says the inscription on one medal (14). Conspicuous in the design on the reverse of this medal is a safe, the inscription reading: "The Independent Sub-Treasury. The Choice of the People." Though Van Buren was defeated, time has vindicated his policy, for the independent treasury system is still in force. Thus the medals relating to the campaign of 1840 show the policies of the Democrats and their opponents to have been exactly the
Frémont Medals of 1856.
reverse of their respective policies in the campaign of 1828. The Democratic Jackson medals of 1828 bore no references to political questions, but sought to fire popular imagination by commemorating his military prowess, while the supporters of John Quincy Adams conducted their campaign on strict political lines; most of the Whig Harrison medals of 1840 are of the shouting kind, while the Democratic Van Buren medals defended that statesman's financial policy. In each instance the military candidate was successful. After all, human nature is much the same all the world over, and