“Isn’t it astonishing what a turn political affairs have taken lately?”
- George W. Beidelman, letter to father 10/18/1860
The Election of 1860 is often referred to as one of the most significant elections in U.S. history. As we prepare for a new presidential election this fall, it is important to reflect on the connections between the current campaign and the election of Abraham Lincoln, which is so frequently referenced in the media.
The Race for the Presidency: Then and Now reflects on the Election of 1860 and addresses its relevance to contemporary politics. Featuring objects and documents pertaining to the various campaigns, the exhibit focuses on four major themes: 1.) the engagement of young people, 2.) key national issues, 3.) the role of the public eye, and 4.) Lincoln’s victory. Objects featured include an 1860 political cartoon from Vanity Fair, a Republican campaign song, and a replica of a Lincoln campaign badge.
In conjunction with this exhibit, Election Memorabilia will be displayed on the main floor of the library.