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has a deep significance. It evidently
often in a republic as in a monarchy medium-sized bronze piece, dated 1838, the man on horseback draws all eyes which in the light of subsequent events from the man afoot. Adams and Van Buren did not, as did Jackson and Harrison, appear upon political campaign medals in regimentals and astride a prancing steed. Am I exaggerating in saying that in the series of political campaign medals our historians have ready to hand a philosophy of history wrought in metal?
rates the organizing of the Liberty Party. On the obverse is a female
slave kneeling and holding up her shackled arms, her
Greeley Medal of 1872.
hands clasped beseechingly. "Am I not a woman and a sister?" is her pathetic appeal (7). This design and inscription seem to have been graven in bitter mockery of the reverse of the Into this campaign the slavery ques- medal, upon which we read: "United tion entered for the first time as a dis- States of America" and "Liberty." A turbing ele- glance at this medal tells us that it ment. On this differs as thoroughly from the other question the two political medals so far examined as the great parties purpose and methods of the anti-slavhad effected a ery agitators differed from those of the truce through other political parties of those days. the Missouri There is no clap-trap appeal to excited Compromise. partisanship-nothing to bring an asBut when Gar- semblage to its feet rison began at or to awaken a reBoston in 1831 sponsive cheer. The the issue of the tears of the shackled Liberator, the woman fall rather abolition of slavery became the principle upon the fruitful soil of a party which was as determined as it of humanity from was small. The great majority of this which spring up pity band separated from Garrison when he and a deep sense of a began to advocate the dissolution of the wrong to be righted. Union, and it organized about 1838 the The pathos, the cruLiberty Party, which in 1840 and again in 1844 nominated for the Presidency James G. Birney, who in 1834, while residing in Kentucky, had shown his devotion to the cause by liberating his own slaves, some twenty in number. While there is no Birney medal, there is a
elty of slavery, and its mockery of the principles upon which our government is founded stand out in bold relief from this little circle of metal. The medallist seems to have worked with the grim earnestness of the leaders of the movement. The agitation was not a mere political flash-in-the-1 an. With the evidence this medal affords of the lofty spirit in which the anti-slavery movement was inaugurated, can we wonder that although two great parties never dared face the question, it grew in imCaricature Tilden Medal of 1872. portance until it overshadowed every
Campaign of 1868.
Garfield Medal of 1880.
other issue and had to be settled by an appeal from speech and parchment to blood and iron?
The campaign between Polk and Clay in 1844 produced a fine crop of medals (p. 336). Clay's adherents appear to have conducted the canvass with the bravado of people who are sure of success. Clay's personal popularity is attested by the number of medals bearing his effigy, the unusual size of several, and the fact that two are of silver, being, with the exception of one Lincoln piece, the only silver campaign medals known which circulated among the people. One of these silver Clay medals (17, obv. and rev.) shows on its obverse a superb profile of this statesman. There is no inscription. The profile in bold relief tells more eloquently than any words the aggressive personality of the candidate. On the reverse is a large ship standing out to sea with flying flags and pennants, while a smaller ship and a steamer are also conspicuous. Under this design, on a mottled ground, are emblems of agriculture. The inscription: "Henry Clay, the Champion of a Protective Tariff," could, with the substitution of Blaine's name, have been adopted as a campaign cry by the latter's partisans in the canvass of 1884.
The beneficent effects of a protective tariff are alluringly set forth in the design on the reverse of the other silver Clay medal (16), which shows factories in full operation, there being one even on a distant headland past which a ship is sailing. Favorite inscriptions with Clay's partisans were: "Equal and full protection to American Industry!" "Protection to the Working Classes!" (18) "Protection to American Industry!"-mottoes whose echoes reverberated through the Blaine canvass. The first appears on the reverse of a large white-metal piece with an elaborate design emblematic of Clay's statesmanship, diplomacy, and Americanism. The second is interesting as the first record of an appeal to the labor vote. Clay was an earnest advocate of the War of 1812, and had long before its declaration urged retaliation upon England for her unlawful impressment of American seamen. This feature of his career is referred to in the inscription: "The Flag we wear at our masthead
should be the Credentials of our Seamen," on the reverse of a medal (19) commemorating the "Young Men's Convention, Baltimore, May, 1844." Of course his "American System"-a combination of protection and internal improvements, is frequently referred to. How near Clay stood to the people is shown by what may be called the colloquial design on the reverse of a small Clay medal (20). It shows a raccoon up a tree "making a nose at his pursuers. The inscription reads: "The same old Coon, O. K!" Other characteristic Clay inscriptions are: "Henry Clay will carry the Day!" "The Man of the People, the Star of the West!" "A Halo shines as Bright as Day around the Head of Henry Clay!" and "Harry of the West!" Clay's partisans were so boastful of success that by a medallic anachronism his election and inauguration were recorded. The obverse of this medal bears the candidate's bust and "Henry Clay elected President A.D. 1844." The reverse (21), referring to Clay's struggles early in life, shows a boy riding toward a mill and the inscription: "The Millboy of the Slashes inaugurated March 4th, 1845.”
Polk's adherents entirely ignored the tariff question, and the Polk medals refer almost exclusively to the annexation of Texas. Polk came from the State of Andrew Jackson, and his partisans, according to numismatic testimony, seem to have taken advantage of this point and to have shouted for "Young Hickory." "Enlarge the Boundaries of Freedom, press onward Young Hickory!" (22). "Young Hickory, Dallas and Victory!" are examples of the inscriptions on Polk medals. The Texas question is more specifically referred to in a design of a "lone star" with a "T" in its centre. It is noteworthy that the appearance of Dallas's portrait on some of the Polk medals marks the debut of the Vice-Presidential likeness in the series (23).
When the Whig and Democratic conventions met in 1848, the Mexican War had been fought and the question whether or not slavery should be prohibited in the newly acquired territory had assumed prominence; ut, as heretofore, these parties dodged the issue.
As a result there was a defection from both, the seceders uniting as the Free Soil party and nominating Van Buren. His action in running and drawing enough votes from Cass, the regular Democratic nominee, to elect General Taylor, the Whig candidate, has of late years, and especially by those who inaugurated the Butler movement in the last campaign, been referred to as the first important "bolt" in our political history. The most interesting medal of this campaign is a battered cent (24), upon the obverse of which (the Liberty head) some one struck with a roughly cut die: "Vote the Land Free!" A hole punched through the coin and its battered condition prove that it was actually worn in battle."
The few Cass medals are not of special interest (26). Among the Taylor series is one the reverse of which shows a stand of arms, a tablet in the centre bearing the famous command: "A little more grape, Capt. Bragg" (25). The trophy is surmounted by an eagle; the inscription reads: "I ask no favors, I shrink from no responsibility." The obverse of another medal informs us that "General Taylor never surrenders."
In the election of 1852 Pierce and Scott were opponents. Judging from the medals of this campaign it was a dull canvass. They are few in number and of no special interest. There is but one Pierce medal (28). It refers to him as the "Statesman and Soldier." A Scott medal bears on its reverse the scene of Scott wounded at Lundy's Lane (27).
Before the campaign of 1856 opened the slavery question had overspread the political horizon like a threatening stormcloud. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise, the struggle in Kansas, and other phases of the issue led to the fusion of the anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats with the Free-soilers as the Republican Party. This party nominated Frémont, who made an aggressive canvass. With this California pioneer as their leader, the Republican party swept over the political field like a fresh breeze from the mountains. Evidence of the enthusiasm with which the opponents of slavery entered this campaign is found in the series of Frémont medals, one of them being the largest political
campaign piece known. It is of whitemetal. The obverse shows a fine portrait of Frémont (32). On the reverse is a wreath enclosing these inscriptions: "The Rocky Mountains echo back Frémont." "The People's choice for 1856." "Constitutional Freedom." Beneath the wreath is a scroll with "Free" in the middle and "men " and "soil" at either end. The reverse of another interesting Frémont medal represents a surveying party surveying a mountain on top of which is the White House (30). On a third medal (31) he is called "Jessie's Choice," a reference to his marriage with Jessie Benton, daughter of the Missouri statesman.
The Buchanan medals are few in number, but among them is one which stands out conspicuously from the series for both cleverness of design and elegance of execution. It is a large white-metal piece, showing on its obverse a buck leaping over a cannon (29). This is the first and only instance of a rebus in the series.
Those Whigs, especially at the South, who were opposed to anti-slavery measures revived about this time the American or Know-Nothing party and nominated Fillmore (35). A medal (36) of the older "Native American" party had in 1844 called upon Americans to "beware of foreign influence," and a similar motto appeared in this campaign. The anti-Catholic tendencies of this party are evidenced by the emblems of Papacy on the reverse of one of these medals. The obverse of the other Know-Nothing medal (34) shows a man bearing an American flag with three rents. The inscription reads: "Our Flag trampled upon.'
The anti-slavery party took a giant stride during Buchanan's administration. The enthusiasm of its members after the nomination of Lincoln is shown in the number of Lincoln medals,— about 200-which is second in the series of American political medals only to that of the Washington medals. The most interesting pieces of the Lincoln series are those worn by the "Wide-aWakes," believed to be the first uniformed body of voters to take part in political processions. The obverse of one of these medals shows a member of this organization wearing the characteristic
wide-awake hat, and bears the inscription "I am ready." Another, worn by the Hartford Wide-a-Wakes, shows on its obverse (40) one of them in full uniform carrying a lantern, and on the reverse another bearing a torch. The Lincoln silver medal referred to in the description of the Clay pieces proclaims the principle of "Free Territory for a free People." Medals relating Lincoln's struggles in early life seem to have been popular there are a number referring to him as the "great Rail-splitter of the West" (38) or the "Rail-splitter of 1830" (43), with designs enclosing the inscription in a rail-fence or showing a woodscene with Lincoln engaged in splitting rails. Hamlin's name is on one medal combined with Lincoln's as follows: "Abra-Ham Lin-Coln." Characteristic inscriptions in the Lincoln series are: "Honest Abe of the West." "Honest old Abe." "No more Slave Territory." "Free Homes for Free Men." On those issued during his second Presidential campaign we read: "If I am re-elected President, Slavery must be abolished with the re-union of States." "Freedom to all men, Union.”
The "rail-splitter of 1830" was the party-splitter of 1860. For on the question involved in his candidacy the Democratic party split, one faction nominating Stephen A. Douglas (41), the other, Breckinridge (42), who represented the extreme Southern pro-slavery views; while the American Party rechristened itself the Constitutional Union party and nominated John Bell (39). Campaign medals were worn by the partisans of all these candidates.
With the Lincoln medals the series ceases to be noteworthy. The medals issued during subsequent campaigns. are neither so varied nor so interesting in design as those struck off during the Lincoln or previous canvasses. The only reason that can be assigned for this is the change in methods political. Party organization has been so developed, party discipline is so effective that an army of voters can be marshalled at short notice, so that now a canvass is a succession of vast processions. Facilities of transportation also enable the voters in rural districts to unite in large bodies for imposing demonstrations. As a result small cheap medals bearing as a rule merely the profile of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates are struck off in large numbers.
Of the numerous Grant medals (46) in the Political series but few are political campaign medals, and none of these is of special interest; and the same may be said of the Seymour (47) and Greeley (48) medals. Among the Tilden medals were several caricatures (49).
There are only two interesting medals from the Garfield-Hancock campaign, one showing the former on a mule on the tow-path and "Canal boy 1845; President 1881 " (50), the other, imitated from the "Salt River" Harrison medal, showing a steamboat with "329," the number on which Garfield's opponents rang the changes so persistently, on the paddle-box, and the inscription: "Good for a free passage on the steamer Hancock, Capt. English, Nov. 2, 1880, for Salt River direct, Chinese Line."
Lincoln was opposed in 1864, besides by McClellan (44 obv. and rev.), by a section of his own party which nominated Frémont and Cochrane, who, however, withdrew in the autumn. One medal (45), with a military profile of Frémont and "Free Speech, Free Press, Frémont " on its obverse and a battle scene with Frémont bearing a flag on the reverse, is a serious memento of this ridiculous episode. A characteristic McClellan piece is oval shaped and was evidently attached to a pin. It shows McClellan on horseback, and bears the inscription: "Little Mac for President. Spades are Trumps."
In our days the newspapers record almost every detail of a political canvass, and any future historian desiring to enter into the spirit in which our canvasses are conducted-their issues, literature, rhetoric, and acrimony-would find it reflected in our daily journals. But to any one who wishes to become conversant with the political methods of the times before the press had obtained its present status as a newsgatherer, the series of political campaign medals is most helpful. For each rim encircles a bit of history, and the series as a whole forms a record in metal of our national politics.