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Rare 1860 Presidential Campaign Newspaper - Abraham Lincoln - Stephen Douglas For Sale
This listing is for a rare and wonderful campaign newspaper from the 1860 U.S. Presidential election, which pitted Stephen A. Douglas (Northern Democrat) against Abraham Lincoln, John Bell (Constitutional Union Party) and John C. Breckenridge (Southern Democrat). This is the November 3, 1860 issue of the Cleveland "Campaign" Plain Dealer, a special edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which still exists today.
The Plain Dealer in 1860 was a supporter of Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln's main opponent for the presidency. This issue was published only THREE days before the 1860 election and was a last ditch effort by the Plain Dealer to elect Douglas. This campaign edition features just 4 pages and the paper is intact. It is full of campaign and election news from that turbulent campaign as the nation tetered on the brink of Civil War.
The legend across the top reads "CAMPAIGN Plain DEALER" and features a sketch of Stephen A. Douglas, then a U.S. Senator from Illinois, of course also the home of Lincoln. On one side of the bust of Douglas it reads "Constituion" and on the other side it reads "Union". Beneath the sketch of Douglas are the words "And Popular Sovereignty Advocate". The primary issue facing the nation in 1860 (and for many decades) was the question of slavery. Abolitionists wanted the immediate end of slavery in the U.S., slave owners wanted it expanded throughout the nation and into the new territories and states, and others (like Lincoln) supported leaving it alone in the South, but prohibited from the new territories and states. By this time in 1860, the South was already threatening to dissolve the Union over this issue.
Stephen Douglas had been an advocate of what he called "popular sovereignty" for at least the previous 6-10 years. In Douglas' opinion, the citizens of a new territory or state should hold a popular vote to determine whether that part of the nation would permit slavery or not. He genuinely believed this was the correct approach to the question. Of course, this idea of a popular vote led to the southern wing of the Democrats leaving the party and nominating their own candidate. They wanted no vote. They wanted slavery permitted, period. Lincoln and the Republicans wanted it contained to where it already existed.
This issue of the paper has what is shocking today to our sense of morality. One column of the front page features a stereotypical caricature of a black person with the warning of the "Africanization of Ohio", meaning that if the Republicans won, that Ohio would be "flooded" with free and escaped slaves. It's reprehensible to us today, but it's an unfortunate part of our nation's history. It warns that the African-Americans ("negroes") would be granted equal rights with whites, granted citizenship and the vote, take jobs away, and so on.
The inside pages warn that Civil War was estimated to be only two months away, off by four months. The south was already agitated about even the likelihood that Lincoln would win. Of course, he won the Electoral vote handily, but only 39% of the popular vote. The rest is history, as on Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded, followed fairly quickly by 6 other states.
Condition: This rare survivor from 1860 has admittedly seen better days. There is signficant foxing on the back page, less so on the front. The upper right corner and lower right corners of the paper have been creased over the years. But since this paper is "rag paper" and not the later "wood pulp" print, the paper is still supple and is not in any way brittle. It would still look great framed in a den. A very good addition to anyone's Americana or Presidential collection.
The offerding for this item opens at $19.99. I've established a moderate reserve price, which is fair and helps to protect my original investment. Shipping costs would be $5.00 in U.S. offer with confidence! I'm one of the earliest members (1997) and have perfect response rating. Thank you!
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Rare 1860 Presidential Campaign Newspaper - Abraham Lincoln - Stephen Douglas: $203