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Getting Out the Vote: Political Broadsides and Campaign Literature in Special Collections

Stop by and see pamphlets, broadsides, campaign buttons, and other election year ballyhoo from 1828 to the recent past. Among the items on display are a broadside imploring voters to "Beware of Fraudulent Ballots!" and the sheet music for the suffragette classic, "She's Good Enough to be Your Baby's Mother, and She's Good Enough to Vote With You."

The exhibition was curated by Barb Krieger and was on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries from October 30, 2004 to November 31, 2004.

Captions from the Exhibition

Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune and noted for his controversial advocacy of universal amnesty in the Reconstruction period after the Civil War,  ran for President in 1872. He was nominated by the newly formed Liberal Republican Party to oppose U.S. Grant. The Democrats, seeing no advantage to putting forth a third candidate, also nominated Greeley.  He lost to Grant, but even if he had won, Greeley never would have held office; he died shortly after the election, on November 29, 1872.

In 1888, Presidential contest was between President Grover Cleveland, the Democrat incumbent, who favored tariff reform in the direction of free trade, and Republican challenger Benjamin Harrison, who vowed to continue strong tariffs, protecting American industry from competition from foreign goods. Although winning the popular vote, Cleveland lost to Harrison in the electoral college. However, he ran again in 1892 and became the only U.S. to serve two non-consecutive terms.

LeGrand Cannon was a New Yorker who achieved some fame as a colonel in the Civil War. This impressive poster is from his 1864 congressional campaign.

The Greenback Party formed in the years 1874–76 to promote currency expansion. The members were principally farmers who had been stricken by the Panic of 1873 and saw salvation in an inflated currency which would wipe out the farm debts contracted in times of high prices.

William Jennings Bryan did not think it was necessary to back the U.S. dollar with an equal value of gold.  Instead, he wanted the United States to use silver to back the dollar at a value which would inflate farmer’s prices thereby easing their burden of debt. This position was the Free Silver Movement.  In 1896 he was the Democratic’s candidate for President.

In 1840, the Whigs, in need of a national hero, nominated William Henry Harrison for President.  He won by a majority of less than 150,000 votes, but swept the Electoral College, 234 to 60. Beforehe had been in office a month, he caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. On April 4, 1841, he died--the first President to die in office.

In 18[?] The Hartford Courrant published the results of the presidential election between Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson.