1864 Presidential Campaign Trade Card - Lincoln & Mcclellan - Jugate Portraits For Sale
This extremely rare original trade card advertises the Cherokee Medicines formulated and sold by Dr. W. R. Merwin & Co. of New York City and was issued as a so-called "bartender's friend" during the 1864 Presidential election campaign.
The front of the card features jugate portraits of the incumbent Republican, Abraham Lincoln, and his Democratic opponent, General George B. McClellan. Next to each portrait is a pair of initials of the artist - even after scanning the initials at 300%, I am unsure of them. The same artist was responsible for both images.
Advertising text on the reverse of this card lists the various Cherokee Medicines sold by Dr. Merwin and the physical conditions they ostensibly cured.
So-called "bartender's friend" political items were so named because they pictured both candidates and thus avoided showing partisanship or favoritism toward either one. That tactic of neutrality prevented a possible violent reaction or boycott by those who supported one party's candidate or agenda. A close examination of the two portraits reveals a possible bias - barely visible white lettering over Lincoln's portrait says "Medicine for the Unfortunates", while the phrase "Cherokee Female Regulator" is printed over McClellan's portrait. Those phrases and the directive "Address all letters to Dr. W.R. Merwin 63 Liberty St. NY" printed below the portraits indicate that this was not a stock campaign piece, but one printed for and advertising a specific company.
This 3" x 5 1/8" trade card has some areas of toning, and is otherwise in very good condition. Any areas of toning or discoloration are greatly exaggerated by my scanner, but mentioned for accuracy.
This rare 1864 Presidential campaign piece was described on one political collectors' website as the earliest known "bartender's friend" advertising card. It would be a great item for a Lincoln. political, early medical, Civil War, or general trade card collector.
Regular US mail shipping charge of $2.50 includes flat shipment in a rigid plastic sleeve and photomailer for protection, as well as delivery confirmation (mandatory with 's change in insurance options for sellers).
Please check my other sales regularly. I will be listing some rare and unusual cards over the next few weeks.