“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Campaign Poles

Campaign Poles Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
1. Campaign Poles Marker
(Left) Campaign poles sported flags and banners, such as this one from 1844 supporting Lincoln's hero, Henry clay. Lashed to Lincoln's 120-foot presidential Ash Pole in 1860 was a broom--- signifying Lincoln's intent to sweep corrupt Democrats out of Washington's Augean stables.
(Below) Child's Campaign Apron.

Campaign poles were a staple of political campaigns in Lincoln's time. Democrats erected Hickory Poles---evoking party hero Andrew Jackson )"Old Hickory"). Whigs (and later Republicans) erected Ash Poles---honoring Henry Clay (whose estate was named "Ashland"). During the 1844 Clay-Polk presidential contest, Democrats erected a 150-foot-tall Hickory Pole here in front of the Register office. On top was an American flag sewn by the Democratic ladies of Springfield. Party leaders encouraged young men to bring their "sweethearts" and old men their "wives and daughters" to the sunrise pole raising. Whigs scoffed that "buzzards were observed...flying around in graceful circles some hundred feet above the pole." They, in turn, raised a 214 1/2-foot Ash Pole---the tallest in the nation--- that weighed an estimated 22,000 pounds and took over two hours to raise. On the first attempt a guy rope broke and the pole fell, crushing one worker and crippling another. Whigs unjustly accused Democrats of cutting the rope.

Children also participated in Lincoln-era politics. During the 1844 campaign, processions of Democratic boys and girls saluted cheering crowds here at the Hickory Pole in front of the Register office on their way to visit Illinois's Democratic Governor, Thomas Ford. "It was beautiful to behold the youth of both sexes thus engaged so early in the cause of their country," gushed the Register's editors. Ford proudly observed, "Who knows but one of you may live to be President of these United States." When Lincoln ran for president in 1860, children were part of the crowds inside the Republican "Wigwam." During the Civil War, a group of Republican school children, aided by two soldiers, confronted a pistol-toting woman and tore down a Confederate flag that she had posted in front of her Springfield house.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 48.041′ N, 89° 39′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on E. Adams Street. Click for map. Between 4th & 5th Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Illinois State Register (here, next to this marker); Mary Lincoln's Ring (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln's Hat (within shouting distance of this marker); Streetscape 1859 (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Streetscape 1859 (within shouting distance of this marker); Joshua Speed's Store (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln's Dentist (about 300 feet away); Curran's Jewelry Shop (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Springfield.
Categories. Politics

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 271 times since then and 37 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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