1864 Lincoln Campaign Songster

By Katie Needham

People supporting President Lincoln for reelection in 1864, used many of the same tactics people use today to promote their favorite candidates. They carried photos and wore emblems, medals, and badges containing slogans and pictures.  Songs were written, or words written to the tune of popular songs.  This songster was published in 1864 by Mason & Co. for purchase and use by Lincoln’s supporters. It contains lyrics for campaign songs set to popular songs of the time. Some examples include: “Rally Round the Cause Boys” to the tune of the “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “Lincoln Campaign Song” to “Yankee Doodle,” and “Hurrah! For Lincoln and Johnson” to the tune of “John Brown’s Body.”  Like the melodies contained inside, Lincoln’s image, shown here as he appeared for the 1860 presidential campaign, was recycled for the songster.

Pictured: Lincoln Campaign Songster.

The songster is part of the President Lincoln’s Cottage special bicentennial exhibit “My Abraham Lincoln.”  It is on display courtesy of The Leo Pascal Collection.  The Songster may be viewed in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center during regular visiting hours through August 1, 2010.

Ms. Needham is the Administrative Assistant for President Lincoln’s Cottage.
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