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How to Use the Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



Photo 1
Drawing 1 & Photo 3
Photo 4


Table of

Visual Evidence

Photo 2: Republican rally, 1860.[Photo 2] with link to larger version of photo.
(Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum)

On August 8, 1860, participants in a Republican rally were parading past the Lincoln Home, on their way to the state fairgrounds, and stopped in front of the Lincoln Home for a photograph. The parade included a wagon that carried 33 ladies dressed in white, representing the states in the Union. The admission of Kansas to the Union caused many problems for the nation because of the controversy over admitting it as a free state or one that allowed slavery. A lone lady, also in white, is following them in a small buggy representing Kansas with a sign that reads "Won't you let me in."

Woodstock Sentinel
Wednesday Morning, August 15, 1860

The Great Springfield Rally
A MASS MEETING of 80,000
The train at last reached Springfield at a little after nine o'clock in the morning, making the trip from Chicago to Springfield in twelve hours. The thunder of the cannon and the continued cheering, announced that the Northerners had arrived. We found the streets in every direction a complete mass of people, and crowding our way through we booked ourselves at the Chenery House, and by good fortune secured a nicely furnished room in an adjoining building for the accommodation of the entire delegation. We then sailed forth in quest of adventure, and accordingly crowded through to the State House. This is a fine building, similar to the Chicago Court House… From there we adjourned to Old Abe's residence where for three mortal hours a procession of almost countless numbers passed by, every wagon load or company cheering Mr. Lincoln enthusiastically, that distinguished gentleman standing on his door steps, gracefully acknowledging their compliments. The procession is acknowledged to be the most striking political demonstration of the kind ever made. Among its principal features were 22 companies of Wide Awakes, ten beautifully decorated caravans of young ladies, a full rigged schooner, with sailors, a huge wagon drawn by six horses, on which was a small power loom driven by a live steam engine; the next feature was an immense wagon drawn by 26 yoke of oxen, on which was represented almost every department of mechanical labor; there were quite a number of wagons on which men were splitting rail, &c.; among the ingenious and numberless devices and banners, were several representing Mr. Douglas as imbibing "My Great Principle" from the mouth of a stone jug, &c.

After the procession we were introduced to, and shook hands with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. Our readers well know how Old Abe looks, so to suffice it to say of Mrs. Lincoln that she is a very accomplished lady, and will grace the White House, which we told she was to inevitably occupy, very becomingly.

Questions for Photo 2

1. Why would supporters hold a rally at a candidate's home? Why do you think that this does not happen in modern campaigns?

2. Who is the "Mr. Douglas" referred to in the article?

3. Do you think that the reporter was a supporter of Lincoln? Why or why not?

4. The "Wide Awakes" was a radical faction within the Republic Party. Can you think of single-issue political alliances today? What do they call themselves?

5. Compare and contrast Photo 2 with the newspaper account. What connections can be made between the article and the photo? Is the newspaper account validated by the image?

6. How would you describe Photo 2? Compile a list of people and objects. Identify Abraham Lincoln who is in the photograph. How would you describe the mood of the people and the tone of the photo?

* The image on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Photo 2, but be aware that the file will take as much as 50 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.



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